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New Orthodontics School Aims to Serve Atlanta's Underserved Populations

Article

A school of dentistry slated to open next fall will focus on providing care to Atlanta-area residents at roughly half the cost of private practice care.

A new orthodontic residency program opening next year says it will offer an “innovative approach” to clinical learning.

The Georgia School of Orthodontics, in Atlanta, anticipates enrolling its first class in the fall of 2016. The three-year residency program is open to dentists from across the US, but one of its goals is addressing the lagging number of minority orthodontic students in the state.

“Along with meeting the critical needs of the underserved population in Georgia, GSO is investing in being part of the solution to the state lagging behind the national average for minority orthodontic students by offering generous scholarships for qualified underrepresented minority residents,” said Pramod Sinha, DDS, MS, the program director for GSO.

The broader goal is to increase access to orthodontic care in the Atlanta region. The school will open a clinic in April 2016 that will provide orthodontic care at approximately half the cost of private practice care. Payment plans will also be available. The plan is to open a number of strategically located clinics throughout the area by the school’s second year.

Officials said in a press release that they expect to have a $25 million impact on the local economy once the school is fully operational. They hope to provide approximately $11.6 million worth of medical cost savings to local residents each year.

“Dental braces provide much more than simply a smile,” said Randy L. Kluender, DDS, the chairman of GSO’s board. “Orthodontic care provides straight teeth, healthier jaws and teeth, improves pronunciation and speech, and enhances one’s self-esteem.”

For more information on the school, visit gaorthodontics.org.

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