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News Brief

Aug. 19, 2013USA |  By: Barnett/INS

Lacking Dentists

Only a handful of dentists are practicing in rural America, and some counties have no dental care available at all.

Jon Bailey with the Center for Rural Affairs says a recent University of Nebraska Medical Center study that focused on that state reflects a problem that can be found in every rural state. Bailey says besides the shortage of dental care, dentists currently in rural areas are soon going to retire.

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Bailey says access to dental services is a huge health-care issue, costing millions of lost work hours and adding to a person’s health problems.

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The National Academy for State Health Policy estimates that 85 million Americans lack dental insurance because Medicaid and Medicare offer only limited dental coverage and the Affordable Care Act only addresses encouraging more people to enter the field of dentistry.