Almost 60% of Texas’s counties contain federally classified Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas.i
Texas ranks 47th in the US in dentists needed to correct the dental HPSA deficiencyiii
In 2014, 81 counties had NO dentists enrolled in the Texas Health Steps (CHIP or Medicaid) program.iv Over 3 million children have Medicaid coveragev, but almost one-third of counties have no participating dentists.
Kids with untreated decay not only suffer pain and infection; they have trouble eating, talking, sleeping and learning. This directly impacts school performance and causes missed school days,—costing school districts money.vii
51 counties have “NO” dentist, 31 counties have “1” dentistviii
Nearly 7 million Texans are living with untreated decay. Their needs are urgent and, alongside dentists, hygienists can safely and cost-effectively help address this need.ix
Oral Health America recently released, A State of Decay: Volume III; the report rates each U.S. state on edentulism, adult Medicaid dental benefits, community water fluoridation, basic screening surveys and state oral health plans. Texas ranked forty-third out of fifty states with a composite score of 22% resulting in a "poor" overall rating.x
Almost one in five seniors has lost all their natural teeth.xi
51,000 Texans with Medicaid coverage visited emergency rooms for dental problems in 2013, yielding a combined state-federal price tag of over $14 million.xii Untreated dental disease could be reduced if people had access to routine care—before they ended up in expensive emergency rooms.
Texas’s dentist shortage is going to intensify. The Health Resources and Services Administration projects that the current dentist shortage will substantially worsen in the next decade.xiii Within that timeframe, more than a third of general dentists will be at or past retirement age.xiv Texas’s aging dental workforce coupled with its booming population will likely leave many Texans unable to access dental care.
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
, Health Resources and Services Administration. Find Shortage Areas: HPSA by State & County. As of 1/1/15. http://hpsafind.hrsa.gov/HPSASearch.aspx
ii U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. Designated Health Professional Shortage Area Statistics. As of November 10, 2014.
iii U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. Designated Health Professional Shortage Area Statistics. As of November 10, 2014.
iv Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Texas Medicaid Provider Database. As of July 2014.
v Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Texas Medicaid Enrollment Statistics. http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/research/MedicaidEnrollment/MedicaidEnrollment.asp
Texas Department of State Health Services
, Division of Family and Community Health, Office of Program Decision Support. Second Assessment of Children Dental Health Status: As Required by Frew v. Janek. March 2014.
Holt K, Barzel R. 2013. Oral Health and Learning: When Children’s Health Suffers, So Does Their Ability to Learn (3rd ed.). Washington
, D.C.: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center. Retrieved October 14, 2014 from http://www.mchoralhealth.org/PDFs/learningfactsheet.pdf; U.S. General Accounting Office. 2000. Oral Health: Dental Disease is a Chronic Problem Among Low Income and Vulnerable Populations. Washington, DC: General Accounting Office. Retrieved October 14, 2014 from http://www.gao.gov/new.items/he00072.pdf
Texas Department of State Health Services, Center for Health Statistics
, Health Professions Resource Center. As of September 2014. http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/chs/hprc/tables/dental/All-Dentists,-2014
Texas Department of State Health Services, Division of Family and Community Health, Office of Program Decision Support. Second Assessment of Children Dental Health Status: As Required by Frew v. Janek. March 2014; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
, 1999-2004. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/DentalCaries/DentalCariesAdults20to64.htm; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General
, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
, National Institutes of Health, 2000; 2014 Texas Population Estimates from U.S. Census Bureau. State & County: QuickFacts: Texas. Accessed February 25, 2015. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48000.html .
Oral Health America, Wisdom Tooth Project. Volume III
, 2016. http://b.3cdn.net/teeth/492f646d03c892b6aa_l6m6bj3ql.pdf
xi National Oral Health Surveillance System. 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/nohss/DisplayV.asp?DataSet=2&nkey=10056&qkey=8
xii Data from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
xiii U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Center for Health Workforce Analysis. National and State-Level Projections of Dentists and Dental Hygienists in the U.S., 2012-2025. Rockville, Maryland, 2015.
Texas Department of State Health Services, Health Professions Resource Center. “Trends, Distributions
, and Demographics: Dentists (General) 2014.” http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/chs/hprc/Publications/2014FactSheets.aspx