The ADA Health Policy Institute has released fact sheets for every U.S. state analyzing dental care utilization, supply of dentists, Medicaid participation, reimbursement rates, sealant use and who has access to fluoridated drinking water.
HPI says “The Oral Health Care System: A State-by-State Analysis” is a first-of-its-kind report that dentists and members of the public can access at ADA.org/statefacts. Each state and the District of Columbia has its own fact sheet with easy-to-read charts, graphics and statistics that compare it to the nation as a whole.
“This multi-year effort brings together data and analysis in a way that helps inform policy decisions,” Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., ADA chief economist and vice president of the Health Policy Institute, wrote in the commentary section of the report. “And when it comes to oral health in America, indeed, many trend lines are important.”
According to ADA News, the statistics show that adults view oral health as very important, with 95 percent of those surveyed saying they value keeping their mouth healthy. Those same adults understand that routine dental care is a key part of overall wellness, with 93 percent saying that regular visits to the dentist “help keep me healthy.”
The report also shows substantial gains in access to dental care among Medicaid children in recent years. Between 2000 and 2013, all but one state saw an increase in the percentage of Medicaid children who had at least one dental visit in the past year. Nationally, the rate grew from 29 to 48 percent, with some states seeing even larger increases.
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