Geographic variation in use of Preventive Dental Services

Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood chronic diseases. It is a growing problem: according to CDC, among children ages, 2 to 5, the prevalence of early childhood caries increased 15 percent between 1988–1994 and 1999–2004. Untreated tooth decay affects 19.5 percent of 2-to-5-year-olds and 22.9 percent of 6-to-9-year-olds. The disease is almost entirely preventable through a combination of good oral health habits at home, a healthy diet, and early and regular use of preventive dental services.

The below map is from the ‘Dental & Oral Health Services in Medicaid and CHIP‘ report published in February 2016 by the Centre for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

 

The map shows that many states are below the state median of use of preventive services. The report also shows the trend in use of preventive dental services as shown below over the years.

From the table, we can notice there is a marginal increase in preventive dental services from 2012 to 2014.

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