Accessing Dentistry in the US
The United States in the midst of an oral health crisis. The availability of dental care is currently insufficient to meet the needs of all United States’ citizens. This crisis would leave as many as one-third of Americans without access to basic oral health services. Of particular concern are children as dental disease is the most common chronic condition among children.
Oral health issues are exacerbated by low treatment rates. A 2015 report showed poor children are the most affected, with almost a quarter of children below the poverty line afflicted with untreated dental diseases. Children above the poverty line fared better, but 17.3 percent still had untreated tooth decay.
The United States’ oral health crisis deserves great attention. A significant portion of the population does not have access to basic dental care, be it due to monetary or geographic disparities, and their health suffers as a result. The current system of dental care must be reformed to address the needs of these Americans. Of the reforms discussed here, the introduction of Mid-Level Dental Providers is the most comprehensive.