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New Hampshire health officials seek to fill gaps in dental care
Updated: 1/19/2010 7:00:57 PM

New Hampshire health officials seek to fill gaps in dental care A new study from the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy has given rise to discussions among health officials about expanding dental screenings in schools and improving access to dental care for all state residents.

The report entitled Dental Services and Workforce in New Hampshire revealed that about 39 percent of New Hampshire residents lack dental insurance, which is lower than the national average.

To address the problem, the state's five-year plan, Something to Smile About 2010, proposes to create a partnership among the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, the Oral Health Coalition and other state medical and dental professionals, which will act as a think tank for improving access to dental care in New Hampshire, SeacoastOnline.com reports.

A similar report by W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a charitable organization that lends its services to children and families, revealed that about 48 million Americans do not have access to routine oral healthcare, and millions more can get to a dentist but cannot afford to pay for more advanced services.

According to the American Dental Association, regular visits to a dentist can help prevent avoidable dental health problems, such as stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and infection.

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