Despite more children getting free dental care for the annual Give Kids a Smile in North Carolina, health officials in the state say there is still a problem with people getting access to such care and blames it on the economy.
The 6th annual dental health event in the state assisted a total of 19,719 children across the state getting free dental care in February, which was reportedly an increase of 26 percent from 2008.
However Dr. M. Alec Parker, executive director of the North Carolina Dental Society said the event only highlighted the state's need to improve access to dental checkups for its residents, which may be particularly important for those without dental insurance.
"The huge increases we saw in the number of patients and the level of care delivered is indicative of the growing dental access to care problem in North Carolina," Parker said. "We believe this problem is being aggravated by the worsening economy. Not only are many children not able to see a dentist regularly, the kinds of oral problems we're seeing are growing increasingly severe because they're not being treated early."
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