Development of the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health is a result of ATSU's mission as a graduate health professions school to evaluate regional and national needs for health professionals. Access to dental care among children, seniors, and underserved communities is gravely insufficient in the United States and especially the Southwest.
According to Arizona Oral Health Update, released in May 2000 by the state's Department of Health Services, 31 percent of Arizona children have never had a dental checkup, nor have 21 percent of Arizona adults. In addition, according to the Arizona State Dental Hygienist's Association, 400,000 of Arizona's children have serious tooth decay. Only half of these youngsters are receiving treatment. In Arizona, we have older dentists, in addition to one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. For every 4,000 dentists who graduate each year, 6,000 retire.