Dental education economics: Challenges and innovative strategies

Mary P. Walker, Susan I. Duley, M. Miles Beach, Lisa Deem, Roberta Pileggi, Nachum Samet, Adriana Segura, John N. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


This article reviews current dental education economic challenges such as increasing student tuition and debt, decreasing funds for faculty salaries and the associated faculty shortage, and the high cost of clinic operations and their effect on the future of dentistry. Management tactics to address these issues are also reviewed. Despite recent efforts to change the clinical education model, implementation of proposed faculty recruitment and compensation programs, and creation of education-corporate partnerships, the authors argue that the current economics of public dental education is not sustainable. To remain viable, the dental education system must adopt transformational actions to re-engineer the program for long-term stability. The proposed re-engineering includes strategies in the following three areas: 1) educational process redesign, 2) reduction and redistribution of time in dental school, and 3) development of a regional curriculum. The intent of these strategies is to address the financial challenges, while educating adequate numbers of dentists at a reasonable cost to both the student and the institution in addition to maintaining dental education within research universities as a learned profession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1440-1449
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Dental education
  • Finances
  • Redesign
  • Strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Dentistry


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