Rob Lauf, a dentist in Mayville in rural Traill County, just outside Grand Forks, said he doesn't consider the eastern part of the state to have a dental shortage, Hageman writes. Lauf told him, "Either way, you have to have a full schedule. There are some counties that don't have a dentist, but they also don't have the population to support a dentist." The eastern part of the state includes two rural counties adjacent to Grand Forks and Traill counties—Nelson and Steele—that do not have a dentist, according to the Center for Rural Health report. (Center for Rural Health map: Dentists in North Dakota in 2014)
North Dakota, which lacks a state dental school, has tried to recruit recent college graduates with loan repayment programs, Hageman writes. Legislation proposed last year allowing certified advanced dental hygienists to perform some procedures now done by dentists, a move designed to increase dental care needs in rural and Native Americans, was opposed by the North Dakota Dental Association and ultimately did not become law.