LSU Aims to Increase the Number of Black Dentists in Louisiana

Blacks make up nearly 35 percent of the population of Louisiana. But only 7 percent of the state’s dentists are black. Louisiana State University operates the state’s only dental school at its New Orleans Health Science Center.

In order to increase the number of black students seeking careers in dentistry, the university has launched a six-week summer enrichment program that gives black and other minority college students experience in the field of dentistry.  Students take general science courses as well as introductory lessons in clinical dentistry. The students are taught skills that normally are part of the curriculum for first-year dental students.

This summer minority students from Louisiana State University, the University of New Orleans, Dillard University, Xavier University, Southern University, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff are participating in the program.

The LSU School of Dentistry budgeted $100,000 for the summer program.