With an overall shortage of dentists in Iowa – and many active dentists close to retirement – rural Iowa communities are actively recruiting new dentists to serve coming generations. FIND Project partners can assist communities who are seeking dentists and help new dentists secure community resources to help establish their practices.
Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) and their sponsoring utilities can connect dentists with community partners and resources, including local funding for FIND loan repayment program match and low-interest loans for new buildings and equipment.
The I-Smile™ Program at the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (IHHS) connects Iowans with dental, medical, and community resources. Local I-Smile™ and I-Smile™ Silver Coordinators partner with community leaders in dental recruitment efforts and work with dentists to establish dental homes for underserved children and adults.
Over half of counties in Iowa are federally designated HPSAs, and many more are at risk. Based on data from the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Iowa:
- Eighty-seven of Iowa’s counties are dental shortage priority counties.
- Twenty of those counties are considered high priority (with 1 or less full-time dentist or all the dentists are aged 60 or older).
- Four Iowa counties have no dentists, and one county has no full-time dentist.