The school has already received a committed philanthropic pledge of $30 million, and it has made a state legislative budget request for $34.2 million. Later this month, the university will propose its finalized plans for the dental school to Florida lawmakers.
The school is being built to address the state's shortage of dentists. It's estimated that 25% of the state's population doesn't have access to dental care, and 63 out of 67 counties in Florida are facing dental shortages. As its population grows, the shortage is expected to worsen. Because of insufficient dental care, many have sought treatment at emergency rooms, according to the article.
Currently, the University of Florida is the only public dental school in the state. Florida is home to two private dental schools: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and Nova Southeastern University.
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