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The economy is leaving many people struggling to wonder how they are going to afford their dental care. A recent article in The Chicago Tribune found that in Illinois, children are particularly in need of better access to oral healthcare, as they struggle to find dentists that will accept Medicaid.
According to the news source, the state pays dentists some of the lowest Medicaid reimbursement rates in the country. This is leaving many dental professionals with no choice but to turn patients away.
"Nobody wants to make a profit on [Medicaid patients], but they have to allow us to pay the bills," said Indru Punwani, head of the pediatric dentistry department at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, the largest provider to Medicaid-covered children in the state, quoted by the Tribune.
Illinois isn't the only state where children are struggling to get to a dentist. A report from Rutgers University found that the percentage of children in New Jersey receiving dental care decreased by 11 percent from 2001 to 2009.
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