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Letters: Dental education costs

September 15, 2014 It surprised me to read that Dr. Garvan Kusky (Letters, "Tuition and Student Debt," Aug. 18 ADA News) believes that the reason dental schools are charging what they are for tuition is "because they know students can borrow that much."

An excellent dental education requires the best, brightest, dedicated and caring instructors along with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. It has long been difficult to attract dentists to education because of the (perceived) ability to earn more in private practice. A dental education is not a commodity, with its price based on supply and demand and even though dental school applications are on the increase I can assure Dr. Kusky that tuition is not based on ability to pay.

Full disclosure: I am an adjunct faculty member at a California dental school. I do this because I enjoy it immensely. Rather than accepting a stipend, I teach on a volunteer basis and prefer that my compensation remain in the budget to help offset rising tuition costs. I like to believe there are many faculty members that do the same, all over the country.

John Muller, D.D.S.
Murphys, California