In rural America, about 43 percent of the population lacks access to dental care. Part of the problem stems from a shortage of dentists—it may be a long trek to the next town to reach the nearest provider. But even more impactful is the issue of affordability, as many in these areas do not have dental insurance. Because good oral health is a fundamental part of good overall health, this is a crisis that needs to be addressed. This Washington Post piece recently examined this issue.
Source: The Washington Post
Publication date: June 7, 2018
Lynnel Beauchesne’s dental office hugs a rural crossroads near Tunnelton, W.Va., population 336. Acres of empty farmland surround the weathered one-story white building; a couple of houses and a few barns are the only neighbors. But the parking lot is full. Some people have driven hours to see Beauchesne, the sole dentist within 30 miles. She estimates that she has as many as 8,000 patients. Before the office closes at 7 p.m., she and her two hygienists will see up to 50 of them, not counting emergencies.