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Oral health contributes to overall health; therefore, it is important to understand the level of access to oral health care in Nebraska. Our analysis of the most recently available data in Nebraska on access to oral health care and on the oral health workforce indicates that in 2010, 68.4% of Nebraskans aged 18 years and older visited a dentist within the past year. The total number of dentists practicing in Nebraska in 2012 was 1,028, compared to 1,017 in 2008; however, the number of dentists per 100,000 population decreased by 2.85% between 2008 and 2012, and the number of dentists older than 60 years increased by 39.29%, raising concerns about the retiring dental workforce. Also, in 2012, 53.6% of dentists practicing in Nebraska were practicing part-time, and only 39.2% practiced in rural areas. Twenty Nebraska counties were without a dentist in 2012. The State of Nebraska designates 44 counties as general dentistry shortage areas, and the Health Resources and Services Administration designates 72 dental Health Professional Shortage Areas in Nebraska. To meet the oral health objectives outlined in Healthy People 2020 and to provide services to the additional children who will have dental coverage under the Affordable Care Act, access to care and dental workforce needs in Nebraska will require the attention of both policymakers and providers.
University of Nebraska Medical Center Center for Health Policy
Dental Public Health and Education
Chandak, Aastha; McFarland, Kim; Nayar, Preethy; and Stimpson, Jim P., "Access to Oral Health Care in Nebraska" (2013). Reports: Center for Health Policy. 11.