The Impact of Title VII on General and Pediatric Dental Education and Training

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Abstract

The authors describe the impact of the Title VII, Section 747 Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry (Title VII) grant program on the development, growth, and expansion of general and pediatric dentistry residency programs in the United States. They first briefly review the legislative history of the Title VII program as it pertains to dental education, followed by a historical overview of dental education in the United States, including a description of the differences between dental and medical education and the routes to professional practice. The authors then present an extensive assessment of the role of the Title VII grant program in building general and pediatric dental training capacity, diversifying the dental workforce, providing outreach and service to underserved and vulnerable populations, stimulating innovations in dental education, and engaging collaborative and interdisciplinary training with medicine. Finally, the authors call for broadening the scope of the Title VII program to allow for predoctoral training (dental student education) and faculty development in general and pediatric dentistry. In doing so, the Title VII program can more effectively address current and future challenges in dental education, dentist workforce, and disparities in oral health and access to care.

This article is part of a theme issue of Academic Medicine on the Title VII health professions training programs.

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