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1 in 5 low-income adults say they haven’t visited a dentist in 5 years

Oral healthcare accessibility still has a long way to go.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research released the report, “Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges” diving into national oral health over the last 20 years.

Six key findings about oral healthcare accessibility in rural areas:

  • About 2 in 5 rural Americans don’t have access to dental care.
  • More than 60 million Americans live in rural areas; 34 million of them live in an area where there is a shortage of dental healthcare providers.
  • Rural areas have fewer dentists and require longer travel times to reach.
  • Residents of rural areas have lower rates of insurance coverage and Medicaid eligibility.
  • Rural populations have lower average levels of oral health literacy.
  • Increased Internet bandwidth in rural areas would allow teledentistry to be a viable method of dental care for those without access to in-person dentistry.

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