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Letters: Student loan woes

April 20, 2015 I am a recent graduate of a prosthodontic residency. I can't tell you how much this article ("Dental Groups Offer Student Loan Principles at Senate Hearings," March 2 ADA News) means to me and other recent grads. We have three kids and one income. I have entered the real world of dentistry at time much different than the one I pictured starting my journey in 2007 — pre-Great Recession. Doctors' retirement ages have increased, more dentists are graduating each year and patients and insurance companies are spending less on dental treatment and more on other commodities. And to top it off, dental school education has become very expensive: when I decided to apply to dental school, the average debt was $104,000 at the University of California, San Francisco; five years later it was $175,000

Our dream is to start saving for a down payment for a home and a dental office in the coming years.

Both of these are made significantly more possible with lower consolidated student loan interest rates and with more tax breaks for paying back more loan money than previous dental generations had to bare.

I believe debt has a large impact in how dentistry will change in the coming years: over treatment planning and lack of young graduates buying practices.

When young doctors don't buy, investors or corporations have the chance to grow, and I rarely hear a doctor speak well of these entities.

If there is anything I can do to help with this process or provide a testimonial in some way, please don't hesitate to call.

I pray for your efforts.

Mark Bellisario, D.D.S.
San Diego