Navigation Links
Low-Income Children Not Getting Adequate Dental Care
Date:7/8/2010

By Madonna Behen
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Children in California who have dental insurance through Medicaid and other public insurance programs are less likely to visit the dentist regularly than privately insured kids, a new study has found.

The study, by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), revealed that black and Latino children are especially at risk of having inadequate dental care.

"We know that disparities in health and oral health care exist, but we often do not know the more subtle ways these disparities persist," said Nadereh Pourat, director of research planning at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and co-author of the study, published in the July issue of the journal Health Affairs.

Pourat and Len Finocchio, senior program officer at the CHCF, examined data from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey to look at the length of time between dental visits and whether or not it differed by racial or ethnic group and type of insurance. The survey contains data on more than 11,300 children from birth through age 11. In the study group of 10,805 children with teeth, 45 percent were covered by private insurance, roughly 37 percent were covered by Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and 18 percent were uninsured.

National health initiatives call for at least one dental visit yearly for all children, and Medicaid, CHIP and private insurers cover semi-annual visits for kids. And the survey showed that 53 percent of the kids had seen a dentist within the past six months.

But the researchers found that 24 percent of the kids had never seen a dentist. In addition, children with public insurance were more likely than privately insured kids to have had longer intervals between visits. And Latino and black children were more likely than white children to have never gone to a dentist or had visits longer than six months apart. Even among children covered by Medicaid, Latino and black children were significantly less likely than white children to have had a dental visit in the past six months.

One of the main reasons for the disparity in care between publicly and privately insured kids may be because not enough dentists accept Medicaid, said Pourat, who is also associate professor of health services at the UCLA School of Public Health. "Unlike the medical field, where many providers such as community clinics are available to see Medicaid patients, the dental care field is dominated by privately practicing dentists," she said.

The small number of participating dentists contributes to racial and ethnic disparities in care, the authors said, as do the disproportionately few Latino and black dentists in California.

Pourat said another contributing factor may be that parents don't always recognize the importance of early, regular dental visits, "or may find it difficult to take time off work to seek dental care that may not seem urgent."

The authors say more strategic efforts are needed to reduce disparities in access to dental care among publicly insured children, including boosting Medicaid reimbursement for dental care, expanding training for pediatric care among general dentists, and training dental students in the community.

Dentist Gary Rozier, a professor of health policy and management at the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health, and director of the school's Dental Public Health Program, said the findings also reinforce the benefit of training pediatricians to screen and treat very young children at risk for dental problems.

"Currently, about 37 states are reimbursing physicians to provide preventive dental services, including application of fluoride varnish, which has shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of dental caries," said Rozier. "In North Carolina, which was one of the first states to try this approach, we have found that it increases access to preventive dental care in the medical office, where infants and toddlers are much more likely to seek care than in dentist offices, and reduces the need for dental treatment."

More information

The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has more on taking care of your child's teeth.

SOURCES: Nadereh Pourat, Ph.D., associate professor, department of health services, UCLA School of Public Health; and director of research planning, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research; Gary Rozier, D.D.S., M.P.H., professor, Health Policy and Management; and director, Dental Public Health Program, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill; July 2010, Health Affairs


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. K-State Study Finds Abundance of Food Stores, Not Lack of Them, Puts Low-Income Women In Small Cities at Higher Risk of Obesity
2. Study: Kidney disease a big risk for younger, low-income minorities
3. Case managers help low-income women receive more timely breast cancer diagnosis
4. Pediatricians find link between cumulative hardships and health in low-income young children
5. Counseling increased mammography use among low-income women with health insurance
6. Amway One by One Campaign for Children Reaches 7 Million Kids
7. Exposure to secondhand smoke among children in England has declined since 1996
8. One Month after Major Quake, Ongoing Crises for Haitian Children
9. Groundbreaking Principal and Contributor on Dr. Oz Show Releases His Latest Book on How We Can Influence the Lives of Children
10. Children With Cerebral Palsy Benefitting From New Physical Therapy Regimen
11. Als Angels Love and Laughter Event to Support Children and Families in Desperate Need
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Low-Income Children Not Getting Adequate Dental Care
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can ... inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film ... Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media of their ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to ... of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be ... vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar ... M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal ... complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Consumers have taken a ... have placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... programs in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved beyond ... pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming more patient-oriented ... products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Dublin ... addition of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy ... This report focuses on the ... review, including its applications in various applications. The report ... includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory ... testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in ... Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are no longer ... to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. ... testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: