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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Lynn Beck

First Committee Member

Michael Elium

Second Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Third Committee Member

Paul Subar


There is a growing population worldwide who are not able to receive dental care. The numbers and trend are increasing and the availability of providers and resources are dwindling in comparison. The dissertation starts off with an example of how the current dental healthcare system has allowed some tragic outcomes. This paper will discuss the barriers of obtaining dental care for this growing population, challenges in dental education and offer some future solutions. Using the example of a dental tragedy, we hope to be inspired as a call to action to avert further fatalities and improve the dental healthcare system. The paper reviews the issue from: 1. A Long term perspective with the current and projected statistics for special needs population nationwide and California. 2. An Expanding population perspective that focuses on patients with autism spectrum disorder. 3. A Complex needs perspective of an example of the increasing necessity of hospital dentistry care.





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