Coalition supports Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance Act

Bill would allow dental faculty repayment participants to exclude loan forgiveness from income taxes

A coalition of dental provider associations and oral health care organizations is supporting the Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance Act, which aims to mitigate dental workforce challenges by funding dental and dental hygiene training programs. 

If passed, the legislation would allow full-time faculty members participating in the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program to exclude the amount of their loan forgiveness from federal income taxes. The bill was reintroduced in the House by Reps. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., D.M.D., and Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y. An identical Senate bill was introduced last year by Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

The program aims to recruit and retain dental faculty, specifically in the areas of general, pediatric and public health dentistry. Addressed to Reps. Jason Smith, R-Mo., Richard Neal, D-Mass., Cathy McMorris Rodgers, D-Wash., and Frank Pallone, D-N.J., an April 2 coalition letter, led by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the ADA, highlighted the importance of the bill. 

“In order to build the dentist workforce, we must ensure there is a pipeline of faculty to support new dentists and hygienists. Recruiting and retaining dental faculty is a significant challenge, given the staggering level of student loan debt and income disparity so many dentists face,” the letter reads. 

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