Estimates of precisely how many Americans are without dental insurance vary, but most figures are high.
Dentist Jerome Blum notes that "more than 125 million Americans do not have dental insurance," which is nearly half the nation's current population.
For poor populations on Medicare and elderly individuals who are supported by Medicaid, options for dental coverage are limited, as many dentists do not accept public or state dental insurance.
The American Dental Association (ADA) details some other common barriers to oral health care. Widespread lack of knowledge about preventive good dental care techniques is one.
Without regular checkups, which the ADA suggests are essential to the maintenance of good oral health, individuals are at risk of tooth decay and chronic periodontal diseases developing over time.
To remedy this issue, some organizations - including insurance companies - have worked to aid individuals in need. In 2010, United Concordia Dental, a major insurer, offered services worth $1.7 million to nearly 8,000 children and adults without insurance, or minimal coverage.
Pairing with clinics, community organizations, dentists and hygiene schools across the country, the insurer helped provide over 110 days of free care.
For more information on discount dental plans call 1-888-632-5353.
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