EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso celebrated a $50,000 gift from Ethos Financial on Friday, Oct. 20.
Some of the money will go toward student scholarships at the Hunt School of Dental Medicine and the rest will go toward renaming a suite at at the school’s dental clinic for patients with disabilities.
Photos by Tony Pina/KTSM
Patients living with disabilities face added dental care concerns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 60% of children with disabilities receive regular dental care, compared to 79% of children without disabilities. Adults living with disabilities are more likely to have untreated tooth decay and gum disease than adults without disabilities.
According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Borderplex region faces a shortage of oral health care providers. El Paso carries the designation of a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area, indicating a lack of dentists and dental hygienists relative to its population size, according to a news release sent out by Texas Tech.
When compared to the national average, El Paso has 57% fewer dentists than the rest of the nation, the release stated.
“Since it opened in 2021, the Hunt School of Dental Medicine at TTUHSC El Paso has taken steps to address this profound shortage by training world-class dental professionals while meeting the needs of the diverse community it serves. Its innovative curriculum not only requires students to study Spanish but also to treat patients during their first year,” the release added.
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