Oral Health : An Integral Part Of The Us Healthcare System

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Oral healthcare is an integral part of the US healthcare system and contributes to the fast growing US healthcare expenditure. Since ages, a pervasive trend of neglected oral health has been observed. Though the long overdue reform act, ACA, has addressed the pitfalls of the healthcare system by improving the access and coverage to oral health, this trend still prevails. Underutilization of oral policy is seen predominantly in the rural residing adults. Almost 20% of US population resides in the rural region, so the practicality in addressing this issue, relies on making pivotal changes in the legislative and dental provider field. The perceived oral health thought process, as oral health being insignificant and expensive has to be…show more content…
Introduction Oral health is an important public health concern, attributing to 8000 preventable deaths every year due to oral cancer, 164million lost productive hours, 51 million lost school hours and almost one fourth of the adults (> 65 yrs.) have lost all of the permanent teeth. Dental care costs accounted for 111 billion dollars in 2012.9 Barriers to oral care in the rural adults are, but not limited to income, insurance, transportation and some other psychological factors. Higher reliance on Medicaid, Medicare and social security in the rural areas is observed. Tobacco, alcohol and smoking addiction, which are the risk factors for oral cancers are more prevalent in the rural regions. Fewer dentists and dental clinics for rural population is noted. With the heavy reliance on safety net programs, but lack of dental workforce, neglect and underutilization of dental policy is seen in the rural areas. Background The oral health perception among the general public, is assuming it is limited to the teeth. This perception has led to long term neglect of oral health and underutilization of dental policy. Oral health awareness can address this misconception and can educate the rural population about the importance of oral health, preventable oral cancers and improving the quality of life. Increasing the dental
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