(WICHITA, Kan.) — A grand opening celebrates Wichita State University's expanded dental program. Dental residents are usually working in the hallways, but Monday they showed their workspace off.
"Before I got here, it was a work in progress," explained Dr. Dexter Woods, Advanced Education in General Dentistry program director. "This has been a labor of love, emphasize labor, emphasize love."
Dr. Woods hopes the young dentists who train here will stay and work in Kansas.
"If you look a the map, many graduates go to Kansas City, but we need people in Garden City, in Medicine Lodge and those places," he explained.
Most Kansas counties don't have enough dental care options, and the greatest need is in western Kansas. Dr. Maya Nunley returned to Wichita State for more education after moving out of state for undergrad and dental school.
"I wanted more experience," said Dr. Nunley. "I knew I needed more. I heard about the program here, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it."
Dr. Woods hopes others will give it the same chance.
"We can provide the training to recruit dentists here, so hopefully the state will provide loan repayment as well," said Dr. Woods about the recruitment efforts.
He also hopes to one day open satellite clinics in those much needed Kansas counties. This grand opening is the first step towards that goal.
The new building is located next to the Metroplex on North Oliver. The first classes in the new building started this semester.