Study: About One in Four California Children Have Never Visited a Dentist
Researchers from the California HealthCare Foundation and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research conducted the study. CHCF is the publisher of California Healthline (Dennis, "Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 7/7).
The study covered children ages 11 and younger and used data obtained from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 7/7).
It found that black and Hispanic children -- as well as children whose families lack private or public dental insurance -- had the lowest rates of dental care ("Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 7/7).
The study also found that the percentage of children who had seen a dentist during the six months prior to the survey interviews was:
- 54% for privately insured children;
- 27% for publicly insured children; and
- 12% for uninsured children.
Study co-authors Nadereh Pourat, director of research planning at UCLA, and Len Finocchio, senior program officer at CHCF, said the findings raise questions about the effectiveness of public dental care programs. They also said it might be necessary to raise dentists' reimbursement rates and expand the pool of pediatric dental care providers ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 7/7).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.