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Washington State Dental Association

ADA Oral Health Care System Report

ADA’s Health Policy Institute recently released a report examining important aspects of each state’s oral health care system, including trends in workforce, Medicaid participation, and dental care utilization.

Key findings in Washington state:
• Washington has one of the highest dental care utilization rates for Medicaid enrolled children of any state, a rate that has increased significantly in recent years.
• Sealant use is well above average among Medicaid children. 
• The gap in dental care utilization between privately and publicly insured children in our state has shrunk in recent years.  

View Washington state’s analysis here.

In addition to the state-by-state analyses, this report also includes data on the nation as a whole. 

Some national findings:
• The percentage of Medicaid enrolled children who visited a dentist within the past year increased from 29 percent in 2000 to 48 percent in 2013. As a result, the gap in dental care use between Medicaid enrolled children and children with private dental benefits narrowed significantly over this same timeframe in the vast majority of states.
• The trend for adults differs dramatically from that for children.  Dental visits by adults with private dental benefits are declining in most states. 
• 95 percent of adults say they value keeping their mouth healthy. Routine dental care is seen as a key part of overall wellness, with 93 percent of adults agreeing that regular visits to the dentist “help keep me healthy.” 
• The supply of dentists per capita increased from 57.3 dentists per 100,000 people in 2001 to 60.5/100,000 in 2013. 

Read the full report here

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