Tags: rural dental health | 43 percent lack access | dentists | cdc

Report: 43 Percent of Rural Americans Lack Dental Health Access

Report: 43 Percent of Rural Americans Lack Dental Health Access
(Fotalia)

By    |   Sunday, 10 June 2018 03:10 PM

More than 40 percent of rural Americans don't have access to dental care — a problem of both available dentists and the money to pay for them, The Washington Post reported.

According to the Post, the National Rural Health Association reports that about 43 percent of those living in rural areas lack access to a dentist.

And West Virginia is at the center of the crisis, with all but six of the state's 55 counties included as federally designated "health professional shortage areas," "medically underserved areas" or both, the Post reported.

The state's Oral Health Program found that in 2014 and 2015, nearly half of counties had fewer than six practicing dentists, just half of adults had been to a dentist in the previous year and more than 20 percent hadn't seen a dentist in five years.

That compares to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study in 2015 that found 64 percent of all adults in the nation had seen a dentist in the previous year, the Post reported.

For those over 65, tooth loss in the state is 33.8 percent compared with roughly 19 percent for all seniors in the nation, the Post reported.

Adding more dentists won't solve the problem if people can't pay for one.

"Affordability is the big thing," Richard Meckstroth, chair of the department of dental practice and rural health at West Virginia University, told the Post.

Dentists who arrive under loan forgiveness programs tend to leave after their two-year obligation is up, the Post reported — in what Meckstroth called a "revolving door" that deprives patients of continuity of care.

But improving the economic picture in areas that haven't been affected yet by the recovery is the ultimate key, the Post reported.

"How you improve access in rural America," says Meckstroth, "is to get people jobs."

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
More than 40 percent of rural Americans don't have access to dental care - a problem of both available dentists and the money to pay for them, The Washington Post reported. According to the Post, the National Rural Health Association reports that about 43 percent of those...
rural dental health, 43 percent lack access, dentists, cdc
302
2018-10-10
Sunday, 10 June 2018 03:10 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved