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Millions of Americans have problems affording or gaining access to professional dental care, and the American Dental Association is examining the problem, in the hopes of coming up with potential solutions.
Their report, called Breaking Down Barriers to Oral Health for All Americans: The Role of Finance, looks at various ways people can pay for oral care, such as discount dental plans, and what more can be done to improve the system.
"Lack of access to oral health care can result in delayed diagnosis, untreated oral diseases and conditions, compromised health status, and, occasionally, even death. Unfortunately, access to oral health care eludes many Americans. While certainly not the only factor, financing is a major factor in people's ability to access health care," said ADA president William Calnon, D.D.S.
Among other suggestions, the ADA called for states to increase incentives programs for dentists who open practices in underserved areas. Calnon said that the ADA recognizes that financial problems prevents many states from taking serious action to improve access to dental care, so many of their recommendations may take a lot of time to implement.
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