PORTLAND, Maine (CBS/AP) – Lots of kids go to summer camp to sail, play basketball and go camping.

But a group of 28 high school students in Maine are going to camp this week to learn about dentistry.

The University of New England’s second annual Dental Careers Exploration Camp kicks off Sunday and runs through Wednesday at the school’s Portland campus.

At the camp, students will learn about dental techniques by using patient simulators. The teachings include preparing teeth, taking X-rays, placing sutures and learning about infection control.

Students will spend one day of camp job-shadowing at local dental offices.

The University of New England’s College of Dental Medicine is slated to open in the fall of 2012.

The school’s dean, James Koelbl, says he hopes the camp will inspire the next generation of dentists.

“The need for increased access to dental care in Maine is great,” said Koelbl. “Forty-one percent of Maine’s dentists are 55 years or older, and the American Dental Education Association has forecast that in five years, more dentists will be retiring from the work force than graduating from school.”

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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