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reflects the nation's diversity will require broad-based efforts to reduce attrition and to enlarge the pool of candidates for admission through information, counseling, and financial aid programs; improved precollegiate education in science and mathematics; and other supportive arrangements for precollegiate and collegiate students.
The committee's individual recommendations are listed below. The list generally follows the order in which the items appear in the report; they are not listed in order of priority. The recommendations underscore that the future of dental education is necessarily linked to its contributions to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of oral health services through education, research, and patient care. It must not only contribute but also be perceived as contributing—by the dental profession, the university, and society generally. For dental education to meet the challenges that lie ahead will require the support and involvement of the practitioner community as well as researchers and policymakers. The intent of this report is to provide guidance for each of these important groups.
To support effective and efficient oral health services that improve individual and community health, the committee recommends that dental educators work with public and private organizations to
maintain a standardized process in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to regularly assess the oral health status of the population and identify changing disease patterns at the community and national levels;
develop and implement a systematic research agenda to evaluate the outcomes of alternative methods of preventing, diagnosing, and treating oral health problems; and
make use of scientific evidence, outcomes research, and formal consensus processes in devising practice guidelines.
To increase access to care and improve the oral health status of underserved populations, dental educators, practitioners, researchers, and public health officials should work together to
secure more adequate public and private funding for per