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DentaQuest Invests in Pilot Program to Support Native American Students Entering Dental Profession

Contribution aimed at ensuring a more diverse provider population in the coming years

DentaQuest today announced a major investment geared toward diversifying the oral health community’s provider population.

DentaQuest is contributing $20,000 to the Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) for a pilot program designed to support American Indian college students and graduates with academic coaching, test preparation and mentoring to enter into and excel within the dental profession. The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) pilot program will prepare Native students and graduates interested in the dental profession with the tools and resources they need to successfully gain admission into a U.S. dental school.

“This pilot program is meant to further address the significant gap in diversity that exists among dental providers, particularly in the Native American community,” said Steve Pollock, DentaQuest president and CEO. “Increasing access in the field helps those who are underrepresented in the industry have inclusive space to explore dentistry as a profession. And with a more diverse provider pool, we’re hopeful to see a more diverse patient population in the future.”

The DAT is a dental school admission test for those interested in attending a U.S. dental education program. The test is designed to provide dental school admissions teams with a way to assess applicants’ potential for success and includes multiple-choice questions in English. Much like other standardized tests for college admission, people with access to test preparatory resources can be at an advantage, making competition more challenging for those who do not have access to similar resources.

Specifically, the DAT pilot program with SAID will provide the following services and benefits for participants:

  • DAT preparation course cost, travel expenses and hotel accommodations for test locations outside of a student’s area
  • Funds to cover testing fees and travel to an approved workshop for pre-dental students
  • Coaching and mentoring opportunities in which practicing SAID members help applicants prepare for admissions interviews and support students during the transition to dental school
  • Peer-to-peer mentorship opportunities (including virtual meetings for participants to connect, especially during COVID-19)
  • Registration fees for the 2021 Diverse Dental Society Virtual Summit

SAID will promote the DAT pilot program throughout its membership, allies and academic partners and will identify and vet qualified applicants.

Visit DentaQuest’s corporate citizenship resource page for more information.

About DentaQuest

DentaQuest is a purpose-driven oral health care company dedicated to improving the oral health of all. We do this through Preventistry® – our all-in approach to better care, expanded access, value-based financing, and innovative solutions. We manage dental and vision benefits for 30+ million Americans and direct patient care through our network of more than 75 oral health centers in 6 states. We provide outcomes-based, cost-effective dental solutions for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, small and large businesses, and individuals nationwide. And, we've invested more than $230 million in grants, programs and other corporate citizenship efforts to achieve measurably healthier communities across the country. By advancing prevention-focused oral health, we will achieve better overall health for everyone. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

About the Society of American Indian Dentists

The Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) is a national, non-profit organization of oral health professionals and students dedicated to promoting and improving the oral health of the American Indian/Alaskan Native community and providing advocacy for the American Indian/Alaskan Native dental professionals across the US. We promote and support the unique concerns of American Indian dentists. Learn more at