UAB dental clinic planned for Dothan receives final approval

The clinic will have eight exam chairs and capacity to conduct more than 10,000 patient visits annually. Its goal is to prepare dentists to practice in rural Alabama areas that are often under served with medical care.
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:10 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -A University of Alabama Birmingham satellite dental clinic has received final approval from the school’s trustees with their vote coming Friday.

“We are looking forward to serving the residents of the Dothan community and surrounding region,” said Russell S. Taichman, DMD, dean of the UAB School of Dentistry.

The clinic will have eight exam chairs and capacity to conduct more than 10,000 patient visits annually.

Its goal is to prepare dentists to practice in rural Alabama areas that are often under served with medical care.

“Through this clinic, we hope to help alleviate some of the burden caused by the rural dentistry shortage across the state of Alabama. We are grateful for the help of our state and local leaders and our generous supporters as we work together to bring world-class dental care to this region,” Taichman said in a statement.

The American Dental Association ranks Alabama 51st in the country for access to dental care, with 71 percent of Alabama’s counties experiencing a dental shortage.

Health Center South, a Dr. Marnix Heersink family medical development, is the site chosen for the clinic that is expected to be operational by summer 2023.

The project is supported by a $3.4 million appropriation from the state of Alabama.

“The partnership between the state and UAB shows the commitment to providing critical dental services to the residents of the Dothan area,” said Alabama state Senator Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva), who was instrumental in helping secure the state’s financial support of the project.

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