The Dental Health Disparity Is Alarming And On The Rise

1348 WordsApr 27, 20176 Pages
In this country the dental health disparity is alarming and on the rise. This is indicated by many factors, including the number of emergency room visits due to tooth related pains (Friedman & Mathu-Muju, 2014). Children face the largest dental disparities. Although, dental caries is the most preventable childhood disease, it is the most prevalent. Our traditional dental care system, of private dentistry, is not working effectively, leaving millions of Americans without access to dental care. Training Dental Hygienist to perform simple extractions and restorative procedures to serve low income and underprivileged communities as a Dental Therapist could greatly decrease our oral health crisis in this nation. In 1920 New Zealand was the…show more content…
Main and California were the next two states to follow suit, making these four states the only provinces in the U.S. to operate this type of dental model (Targeted News Service, 2014). Currently, 14,000 Dental Therapists practice in more than 54 countries worldwide (Friedman & Mathu-Muju, 2014). As our population grows, the traditional dental model is leaving some without affordable and obtainable oral care. In America, the number of retiring dentists exceeds the number of graduating dentists annually (Friedman & Mathu-Muju, 2014). Deficits related to this statistic leave low income families, especially children, lacking the dental care and education necessary to maintain a healthy dentition throughout their lifetime. Out of the 43 million children enrolled in Medicaid only 12-49% receives any type of dental care; this is partially related to the fact that only 20% of dentists accept Medicaid patients (Friedman & Mathu-Muju, 2014). Also, for those living in rural areas a trip to the dentist can become a chore. Here in Kansas 84% of our population live in a dental desert, meaning they have no access to dental care, nationally 49 million Americans face this problem (PBS Source). Current dental models have divided the population into two groups, those who can afford preventative and restorative care, and those who cannot. Training dental therapists to

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