Gap in Access to Dental Care for Adults Observed

Dental Care for AdultsWhile there is a certain progress in relation to access of kids to dental care, dental professionals notice a certain gap of regular dental care for adults. A lot of adults cannot afford the wanted dental services due to high cost or the inability to get them having limited dental insurance coverage. According to the statistics, 30% of patients have lost one tooth for the reason of tooth decay. There is also an increase in a number of visits f emergency rooms because of acute dental pain.

Additionally, those people that do not have enough money but they have dental insurance, they cannot get the needed care as a lot of dental clinics in their area do not receive medical reimbursements. The similar situation is observed in Spokane County for the last 20 years but governors could not change the situation for the better. There are certain goals the county wants to achieve in the nearest future and one of them is to decrease the rate of cavities and to improve oral health. Another goal is closely related to the need of fluoridation of public drinking water and increasing Medicaid reimbursements. It is estimated that about 41% of all state residents do not have fluoridated water.

That is why dentists consider this situation to be a health equity issue and fixing this problem will be effective and safe. The reimbursements that are provided right now can only cover about 30% of the cost of the dental care which makes it inaccessible for most of the patients. It is one of the reasons why private-practice dentists cannot compensate the expenses on providing dental services to people that have Medicaid. This problem makes a lot of people visit emergency rooms and it is better to get them into dental clinics to reduce the expenses.

Photo by Giorgio Fiorelli (en:Image:006011b0.jpg) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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