No matter where people live, if they don't brush, floss and visit a dental health professional on a regular basis, then chances are they will end up experiencing tooth decay and gum disease. However, some areas of the U.S. have higher rates of dental issues than others. For example, the California Center for Rural Policy states that individuals living in rural areas may have difficulty finding dentists who practice nearby.
Recently, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that there are a growing number of dental hygienist schools in the Georgia area to meet the demand of the aging population. Georgia also has many rural areas that may need more dental health professionals.
"People think that a dental hygienist is just about teeth, but the real focus is on oral health. Many diseases show up in the mouth first. Some of the most important work we do is oral cancer screening and patient education," Cherie Rainwater, department chair of dental hygiene at Georgia Perimeter College, told the Journal-Constitution.
Many Americans don't have dental insurance, and this has resulted in many discussions amount dental health professionals about possibly expanding the role of dental hygienists to provide more care to people.
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