UAB Dental School plans clinic in Dothan

Clinic aims to address shortage of rural dental services

UAB Dental School Dean Russell Taichman presents plans for a Dothan clinic.

Working to combat limited access to dental care in the state’s rural regions, the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry is opening a dental clinic in Dothan.

The clinic will be staffed by UAB faculty, residents and dental students and is funded by a $3.4 million appropriation from the state.

According to UAB, Alabama is ranked 51st for access to dental care by the American Dental Association, with 71% of the counties short on dentists. In the 50 miles around Dothan, there are 60 dentists serving 500,000 people.

School officials and local dignitaries visit the site proposed for a UAB dental clinic in Dothan.

“Through this clinic, we hope to help alleviate some of the burden caused by the rural dentistry shortage across the state of Alabama,” said Dr. Russell Taichman, dean of the UAB School of Dentistry.

Finis St. John IV, chancellor of the University of Alabama System, said, “It is our hope that the clinic will serve as a model and show that this innovative solution identified by UAB’s School of Dentistry could work for other areas of the state that suffer from similar shortages.”

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The clinic, with eight exam chairs and ability to accommodate 10,000 patient visits per year, will be located in the Health Center South Medical Tower, which is owned and operated by UAB benefactors Dr. Marnix E. Heersink and family.

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