October 19, 2017
Texas A&M College of Dentistry will soon have a new clinic and education building in Dallas. According to an article on the website of the American Dental Association, the “157,756-square-foot, nine story building will serve as a patient-centered clinical facility for Texas A&M dentistry students, featuring nearly 300 dental chair stations, advanced technology, specialized clinics, classrooms and study spaces.”
In addition, the college treats low-income and underserved patients in the area, which is considered dentally underserved by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Construction of the new $127 million building should be completed by the fall of 2019.
Some $72 million of the new facility’s estimated cost comes from approval for bond authority that the A&M’s Health Science Center received from the Texas State Legislature in 2015. The expansion will allow the College of Dentistry to increase enrollment by some 25 percent, which will hopefully help to correct the shortage of oral health care providers in Texas.
The Importance of Preventive Dentistry for Children
According to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, children from low-income families or those without health insurance do not regularly see a dentist and, therefore, have unmet dental needs when compared to children that are insured or come from higher income families.
For children lacking dental care, the ramifications can be far reaching. Many suffer from untreated tooth decay. In fact, a report from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research shows that between the ages of two and 11, 42 percent of children have had cavities in their primary teeth. Among children ages six to 11, some 21 percent have had cavities in permanent teeth. In all likelihood, these incidences of tooth decay could have been prevented if these children had been seen regularly for dental checkups.
In addition, poor oral health may interfere with a child’s ability to focus and learn during the day at school. For these reasons and more, regular visits to the dentist are critically important for all children. Hopefully, the new and expanded facility of the Texas A&M College of Dentistry will be able to address the needs of underserved children in and around Dallas.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Henry Campbell attended Texas A&M University for his undergraduate degree and then earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, now called Texas A&M College of Dentistry. As a general and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Campbell addresses the health and beauty of each patient’s smile.
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