The Oklahoma Dental Loan Repayment Act, authorized by the state legislature in 2006, created a program designed to increase the number of dentists serving and caring for those dependent upon the state for dental care and to make dental care accessible to underserved metropolitan and rural areas by providing educational loan repayment assistance for up to a total of twenty-five Oklahoma licensed dentists for a 2 to 5 year period per dentist. Dentists entering the Program agree to teach at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry if applicable faculty positions are available, or provide dental care in a designated dental health professional shortage area. Shortage area participating dentists agree that a minimum of 30% of his/her patients treated during the service obligation or contract period are Medicaid recipients.
The amount of the award, not to exceed $25,000 per year for each participating dentist, shall be determined by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) annually based upon the amount of funds appropriated to OSDH. If the participating dentist's eligible loans are less than the cumulative repayment assistance total available over five years, that participating dentist shall be in the ODLRP no longer than required to pay off the total eligible loans and shall not receive more funding assistance than the total eligible indebtedness.
Each award shall be distributed to the participating dentist by two-party drafts made payable to the dentist and the appropriate lending institution in equal monthly disbursements throughout the yearly service obligation.