ARLINGTON, Va. — About 90 Navy dental officers are eligible for a new bonus program that offers general dentists with between three and eight years’ dental experience $40,000 to extend for two years, said Capt. Jeff Macdonald of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

Eligible dentists could potentially receive the bonus again if they decide to extend again after two years, Macdonald said.

The Navy is offering the money because it has a hard time retaining dentists, who can make more money in the civilian world, he said.

Right now, the Navy has 1,036 dentists, or 89 percent of its authorized number of billets for dentists, Macdonald said.

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