Research from the Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and policy institute, shows more than 56.7 million people in the United States live in areas with dentist shortages. Access to care is also limited for the 72 million children and adults who rely on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Left untreated, dental health problems can cause major pain, tooth loss, and many other health and social challenges. When dental pain becomes too severe to ignore, most peopleend up at the emrgency room, which treats the immediate need but not the dental health condition. These emergency room visits cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year.