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Disparities in oral health care found in Rhode Island
Updated: 9/15/2011 3:00:01 PM
 

Disparities in oral health care found in Rhode Island Rhode Island Kids Count, a nonprofit organization advocating advancements in children's healthcare throughout the state, recently released a report illuminating positive and negative aspects of children's oral health. Although 89 percent of Rhode Island children had dental insurance covering routine care as of 2009, other issues are currently bringing adverse consequences to dental health care for the state's youngsters.

The organization confirmed that in the 2010-11 school year, a total of 26 percent of Rhode Island third-grade schoolchildren suffered from tooth decay that was not being addressed, based on a recent statewide survey.

The state made numerous advances to its dental care services during the 2000s, with a number of much-needed public health programs benefiting children and adults.

Despite this, major deficiencies appear to exist regarding the oral health of children belonging to minority ethnic groups, who have much higher rates of untreated tooth decay than other children. Additionally, nearly half of Rhode Island's towns and cities have a shortage of dental professionals.

The higher rates of unaddressed dental caries in minority and low-income children are a major issue throughout the U.S., according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

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