Dental Workforce: Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas

Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (Dental HPSAs) are areas designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) as having shortages of dentists.  The purpose of these designations is to identify areas of greatest need in order to prioritize limited resources.  The designation is primarily used for recruiting providers for the National Health Service Corp, J-1 Visa waivers and state loan forgiveness/repayment programs and grants.

Dental HPSAs may be geographic (a county or service area), demographic (low-income population) or institutional (comprehensive health center, federally qualified health center or other public facility). In Minnesota, the majority of dental HPSAs are low-income (i.e. areas that are at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines), therefore may represent areas with lower access to dental/oral health care and populations with greater risk of dental diseases and oral conditions.


6 out every 10 Minnesota Counties have Full County Dental Health Professional Shortage Area Designation

County Dental Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) low-income designations, 2014

Data source: Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. Note: Data represent Dental Health Professional Shortage areas designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Bureau of Health Workforce as of June 2014.  Low-income designations are defined as areas with a high percent of the population at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.  See About the Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas Data for more information.

County Map

Dental Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Low-Income Designations, 2014 Map

As of June 2014, there were 124 Dental HPSAs in 59 Minnesota counties. Sixty-one percent or six out of every 10 counties in Minnesota had full-county designation, meaning the entire county met federal qualifications of a Dental HPSA. Seven-percent of Minnesota counties had partial-county designation, meaning part of the county met federal qualifications of a Dental HPSA. Thirty-two percent of Minnesota counties did not have a Dental HPSA designation, meaning there were no applications for Dental HPSA designation in that county or the county did not meet federal qualifications of a Dental HPSA.

For more information: About the Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas Data