An estimated one in five children go without annual dental care each year and the majority of states fail to provide adequate policy solutions that ensure dental health and access to care, according to a recently released study by Pew Center on the States.
The new report, titled The Cost of Delay: State Dental Policies Fail One in Five Children, found that two-thirds of U.S. states are doing a poor job ensuring that children from low-income families have access to basic, preventative dental care.
The center graded each state on eight policy solutions, which include access to Medicare, fluoridated water and school-based dental sealant programs. Although six states received an A grade for their dental health policies, a total of 36 states were given a C grade or lower.
Researchers with the center point out that Americans are expected to spend approximately $106 billion on dental treatments in 2010, a figure which includes restorative treatments that could have been avoided with proper preventative dental care.
The highest ranking state in the study was South Carolina, which scored well in seven out of eight categories. New Jersey ranked the lowest with only one of eight benchmark policies.
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