Thirteen teenagers were invited to the free Dental Careers Exploration Camp, which was held in Portland. The goal is to spark a passion for dentistry, which will then translate to them attending the University of New England's College of Dental Medicine program.
"Historically Northern New England - Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire - have had the lowest number of applicants to dental schools in the country," Dr. Jeffrey Doss, an oral surgeon and faculty member said.
According to an AOL report, the average age of dentists in Maine is 55, with 1 dentist being available for every 2000 residents.
Camp attendees will be able to experiment with tools, meet and talk with dental professionals, and discuss what it takes to become a dentist, which includes a passion for biomedical science.
"They have to know biomedical science. They need to know the materials. They have to be good with their hands, and great with people," Dr. Lionel Vachon, Assistant Dean for the College of Dental Medicine said. "It's a true art form to restore people's mouths."
Other states are also dealing with a lack of dental professionals, including Kansas and New Mexico among others. According to The Health Resources and Services Administration, there are 48.7 million Americans who live in areas with dental-care shortages.