report, a report by a successor organization warned that too many medical schools were being established and that the increased supply of physicians was not eliminating geographic disparities (Carnegie Council on Policy Studies in Higher Education, 1976). The report suggested, however, that enrollments in some dental schools should be expanded and that new schools were needed in Arizona and probably in Florida. Today, Arizona still has no dental school, and Florida continues to have a single school as it did in 1976. Congress reacted to the changing view of the health care supply question (particularly the view that there was a ''physician glut") by reducing direct support for health professions education, including dental schools.

The whipsaw effect of adopting and then removing a significant stimulus for enrollment growth had disruptive effects on both educators and practitioners that still persist in debates about the size, distribution, and composition of the dental work force and the appropriate number and size of dental schools. As noted in Chapter 1, six Schools have closed since 1985, and the overall enrollment drop is equivalent to closing about 20 average-sized schools (Consani, 1993). Chapter 9 examines the dental work force today.


The twentieth century opened for dental education with an abundance of proprietary schools, a trade not fully transformed into a profession, and a primitive regulatory structure. The population was beset by serious dental disease, resigned to tooth loss, and limited in the treatments available to it. The science and research base was minuscule. During the twentieth century, dental practice, education, and regulation have been transformed. Proprietary schools have vanished amidst a series of educational reforms, and a significant—albeit still limited—research capacity has emerged. The next chapter focuses on the trends in oral health that have greatly diminished the incidence and severity of dental disease.


the four-year schedule. Earlier, most dental schools had adopted year-round three-year programs during World War H but only the University of Tennessee continued that pattern after the war (Santangelo, 1981).

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