A new poll by The Pew Charitable Trusts shows Mississippi is ranked number one when it comes to a lack of access to dental care. The survey says more than 36% of that state’s population falls into this category.
The report, released Tuesday, says that each year in the United States, tens of millions of children, disproportionately low-income, go without seeing a dentist, and this lack of access to dental care is a complex problem fueled by a number of factors, with two different dentist shortages compounding the issue:
- An uneven distribution of dentists nationwide means many areas do not have an adequate supply of these practitioners. As a result, access to care is constrained for people in these communities regardless of income or insurance coverage.
- The relatively small number of dentists who participate in Medicaid means that many low-income people are not receiving dental care.
According to the report the 10 states with the worst dentist shortages were:
1. Mississippi, 36.3% of population underserved
2. Louisiana, 24.4%
3. Alabama, 24.4%
4. New Mexico, 24.2%
5. Delaware, 21.9%
6. South Carolina, 20.6%
7. Tennessee, 19.8%
8. Florida, 18.0%
9. Idaho, 17.5%
10. Oregon, 17.3%
To view the report, “In Search of Dental Care,” click here.