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Dentist Shortage Affecting Kids

FOX 47 News

Dentist Shortage Affecting Kids

CREATED Jun. 25, 2013

Too few Michigan children are visiting the dentist.

That's according to a new report from the Pew Children's Dental Campaign. The report found that America just does not have enough dentists and many practicing dentists do not participate in Medicaid, leaving both children and adults without proper care.

The study found that nearly 45 million Americans live in areas with a shortage of dentists.

According to the research, more than 60% of Michigan children enrolled in Medicaid in 2011 did not see a dentist. And only 58% of children with private insurance visited a dentist in 2009. Michigan legislators reinstated adult dental benefits under Medicaid in 2010, but many dentists still don't accept. The research also found that Michigan's "Healthy Kids Dental Program" has had some success in rural areas but still lacks enrollment in many parts of the state. Pew also found that parents who visit dentists are more likely to take their child.

They also warn that minor dental problems can become major health issues quickly, so it is important to get check-ups.

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