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you are > Dental Health Articles > West Virginia health officials seek to improve dental care

West Virginia health officials seek to improve dental care
Updated: 1/7/2010 7:00:06 PM

West Virginia health officials seek to improve dental care After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named West Virginia as the state with the highest rate of tooth loss in the country, the head of the state's dental association has begun investigating areas of dental care that are in need of improvement.

According to Richard Stevens, the executive director of the West Virginia Dental Association, healthcare plans and private employers who do not provide adequate dental insurance are partly to blame, West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports.

He notes that Medicaid covers children up to 21 years old, but doesn't insure many procedures for adults, and Medicare for the elderly provides no dental coverage.

In addition, only about 35 percent of children covered by Medicaid visit a dentist at least once a year.

Stevens told the news source, "Unfortunately, some people elect not to continue with regular dental treatment if they have lost their dental insurance or elect not to seek regular dental care if they do not have insurance."

According to the Mayo Clinic, cavities can form when an individual eats and drinks sugary foods and beverages. Though these dental health burdens can lead to tooth loss, they can be avoided by visiting the dentist regularly and brushing twice a day.

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