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Pew Report Finds Majority of States Fail to Ensure Proper Dental Health & Access to Care for Children
Date:2/22/2010

dental care each year but the good news is, it's fixable," said Shelly Gehshan, director of the Pew Children's Dental Campaign. "By enacting a handful of effective policies, states can help eliminate the long-term health and economic consequences of untreated dental problems among kids. Several states are leading the way—but all states can and must do more to ensure access to dental care for the 17 million children left out of the system."

Pew scored all 50 states and the District of Columbia, using an A-F scale, on whether and how well they are employing eight proven policy solutions to ensure dental health and access to care for children. These policies fall into four categories: cost-effective ways to help prevent problems from occurring in the first place; Medicaid improvements that enable and motivate more dentists to treat disadvantaged children; new workforce models that expand the number of qualified dental providers; and gathering data to gauge progress and improve performance.

Only six states merited "A" grades: Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, New Mexico, Rhode Island and South Carolina. These states met at least six of the eight policy benchmarks and had policies in place that met or exceeded the national performance standards. These high grades do not mean that all people in the
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SOURCE The Pew Center on the States
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