Inclusive Workforce


Investing in an Inclusive Dental Care Workforce

As DentaQuest looks to the future of dental care, it’s clear that we need more diversity in our field. A diverse dental-care workforce is associated with better access to quality care for underrepresented communities, greater care choice and satisfaction, better outcomes, and managers and policymakers who are better prepared to advocate for the needs of America’s growing diverse population.research vector graphic
  • Sustainable Approaches to Recruit, Retain and Professionalize Black, Latino, and American Indian Students Interested in Dental Careers

    • This DentaQuest-funded research led by Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, MPH, FICD, Meharry Medical College and Sarah Raskin, PhD, MPH, Virginia Commonwealth University, identified barriers to Black, Latino and American Indian student entry to the dental professions and challenges to success in academic dental education programs. Importantly, the report identifies a number of areas where leaders across the dental care industry can collectively get involved as agents working to build a more diverse and inclusive dental care workforce.

  • The Society of American Indian Dentists 

    • The Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) and DentaQuest are partnering to encourage Native students who have a desire to enter the practice of dentistry. The SAID/DentaQuest Dental Entrance Scholarships address the barriers experienced by many prospective Native students. The scholarship covers the cost of academic coaching, admissions tests and transportation to test sites and provides mentoring through the first years of dental school. 

  • The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 
    • ​The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston used a DentaQuest research grant to explore the concept of teams and collaborative practice to increase the capacity within existing health care systems to address oral health care needs for diverse and vulnerable populations. They developed a best practice model for primary care services that values oral health as essential to overall health, the well-being of patients, and opportunities for preventive interventions.


Externships help reduce the financial burden for dental students looking to gain care delivery experience in a variety of community settings. By their example, dental student interns also inspirexternships vector graphice youth from underrepresented communities to consider careers in dental care. DentaQuest is providing funds to a number of dental education programs to enable these real-life care experiences at community clinics in urban, rural and hard-to-reach settings. 

  • University of Las Vegas
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Western University
  • Howard University College of Dentistry
  • University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
  • University of Washington, Office of Educational Partnerships and Diversity
  • United American Indian Involvement