Shortage of Dentists Increased in Sonoma Country

Shortage of DentistsGovernors do not take any efforts to improve dental care services and right now Sonoma Country experiences a great need in professional dentists. There are just nine full-time dentists to treat dental conditions of about 20,000 kids. It is unbelievable but kids get the needed dental services at the moment. One dentist needs to serve about 2,000 kids which is insufficient. At the same time, there are counties that do not have any dentists that serve kids using the state’s Medi-Cal insurance program.

This situation becomes a real concern as the presentation of the Affordable Care Act led to the increased number of patients on Medi-Cal. The requirements for Medi-Cal enrolment were eased and the number of users doubled. But the regulators didn’t take any measures to increase the number of dentists who could serve them. The enrolment was actually concentrated on increasing the number of kids to get the proper dental services and in 2008 the program reduced the number of services provided to adults.

But nowadays, adult dental services are supposed to be renewed. That is why the need in dentists is growing and if the proper measures are not taken, the deficit will be really overwhelming. Due to the latest audit of dental services provided under Medi-Cal, the state agency did not manage to provide the proper development of the services and does not know the needs are present at the moment.

The main mission here is to reduce the number of shortcomings in this sphere and let people use the dental services in the proper way. Besides, the agency does not collect any data on realization of this project and as a result any analysis of the information is not possible. In other words, the effectiveness of this program cannot be assessed and we cannot state whether it complies with the requirements.

Photo by Sarah-Petra

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