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.