Summary

Work force planning is a source of continual frustration for policymakers and educators. The failures or unintended consequences of past work force policies have left considerable wariness about proposed solutions to work force problems, and the limitations of forecasting models and data preclude confident predictions about the future. Another legacy of past policies is tension between the education and practice communities that extends beyond enrollment questions to complicate efforts to broaden and enrich the educational and patient care programs of dental schools. This chapter has argued for caution in changing dental school enrollments and for continued efforts to reshape the distribution and composition of the dental work force. It also has reinforced arguments in other chapters for increased effort to make more productive use of the entire dental team.



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