Report Finds Major Shortage of Dentists in Some California Counties
The report found that:
- Alpine County has no active dentists;
- San Benito and Inyo counties have less than one dentist per 5,000 residents; and
- Imperial and Colusa counties have less than one dentist per 4,000 residents.
In addition, certain low-income areas in Los Angeles County are considered underserved, according to Nadereh Pourat, director of research planning at the UCLA School of Public Health and the report's primary author.
Pourat said that rural residents often have to travel significant distances to receive dental care, adding that "if you don't have dental insurance, you have to pay out of pocket in order to find a dentist willing to accommodate you."
Having only a small number of dentists who participate in Denti-Cal compounds the problems some patients encounter finding dental care.Â Denti-Cal is the dental program provided through Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program (Yoshino, Los Angeles Times, 5/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.