43% of rural Americans don't have access to dental care & 7 more statistics

Although Medicaid continues to expand throughout the U.S., there are still major gaps in access to dental care. West Virginia is one of the leading states lacking access to dental care, according to The Washington Post.

In the U.S., 43 percent of rural Americans do not have access to dental care, according to a National Rural Health Association report. And West Virginia is labeled as one of the most rural and poorest states in the country, The Washington Post reports.

Here are seven statistics on dental care disparities in the U.S.:

1. In West Virginia, 49 of the state's 55 counties are designated Health Professional Shortage Areas and/or Medically Underserved Areas on a federal level.

2. Around half of the counties in West Virginia had fewer than six practicing dentists in 2015, according to the state's Oral Health Program.

3. Additionally, roughly 50 percent of adults in West Virginia had visited a dentist between 2014 and 2015. More than 20 percent hadn't visited the dentist in the past five years when the 2014 survey was distributed.

4. By comparison, 64 percent of all American's reported seeing the dentist in 2015, according to a U.S. CDC study.

5. In West Virginia, 33.8 percent have lost a tooth, compared to the national average of approximately 19 percent.

6. The lack of dental care, makes dental services a luxury in West Virginia. In the state a cleaning, exam and bitewing X-ray costs around $90, which is around half of what other dental practices would charge throughout the U.S.

7. While 65 percent of working-age adults have access to dental benefits in the U.S., only 40 percent of adults in West Virginia have access, according to the state's Bureau for Public Health.

To read the full report, click here.

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