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Maine seeking solution for lack of dental professionals
Updated: 4/5/2011 7:00:05 PM
 

State officials in Maine said they hope that an investigation into healthcare trends will help more people receive dental treatment Costly procedures and a shortage of dentists are the two most likely reasons why some of Maine residents do not receive dental care, according to a recent article published in the Bangor Daily News.

The newspaper reported that dental emergencies account for the majority of youth hospital visits in the state, which may require the attention of personnel and the use of medical supplies to treat problems that could have been easily prevented by routine oral checkups.

The article cited data from the Maine Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, which indicated that there is one dentist per every 2,300 state residents, compared to the national average of one professional for every 1,600 people.

In order to help curb this trend, the Daily News said that state legislators will designate a group of experts who will evaluate oral healthcare in Maine, including funding issues and barriers that discourage individuals from seeking treatment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 62 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 64 have visited a dentist within the past year. Moreover, a total of 23 percent of people within this age range have untreated cavities, the organization stated.

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