UAMS Provides First Ever Dental Residency In Arkansas

- LITTLE ROCK, AR- For the first time, dentists will be able to complete their residency in a brand new program offered in the state.

"It's a source of pride for me," says Ashley McMillan, DDS.

Pride to be back in her home state. She wants to help provide Arkansans with the quality dental coverage they need.

"In private practice, you're not able to fully treat these complex medical history patients that we're able to treat here," says Dr. McMillan.

In the first of its kind Dental Residency at UAMS, McMillan will now get the advanced training necessary to help prepare patients for transplants, chemotherapy and radiation.

"It's huge because I'm honestly not quite sure what they were able to do before," she says.

Before, patients had to get dentally cleared out of the state. Niki Carter, Director of the Residency, says they spent the last 8 years to make this happen.

"It was very hard for them to get them access," says Niki Carter, Director of the Residency.

Carter says not only is it a cost and timely saving measure, but it's saving lives.

"Before someone goes through radiation, if their teeth are not dentally sound, they don't just loose the teeth, but it can cause a terrible infection," says Carter.

Now with all the tools provided to McMillan to do the job-- "We can treat them with a lot more confidence because we have so much support here."

And that support is extending out to the community.

"They were having to go out of state and spend lots of money they didn't have. So It's wonderful we're able to provide that service here at UAMS," says McMillan.

There are two dentists taking part in the residency program's first year. It will take in six the next year.

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