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Pew Report Cites Top 10 States Facing Dentist Shortage

Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2013


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.

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