Missouri Gets a C on Child Dental Health
COLUMBIA - The state of dental health among Missouri children is average, compared to the rest of the nation. The Pew Center on the States gave Missouri a C when it comes to providing dental care to children. The Pew center tested things such as avaiable tooth sealant, water flouridation, Medicaid policies that encourage dentists to treat childrenfrom lower- income families, and dentists that are able to keep up with demand.
The state falls short in providing dental basics to children in the Medicaid program. Columbia Dentist Kent Willet believes the increase in patients and high cost in dental care products is one reason why some dentists may have a hard time taking children on Medicaid.
The state is working on creating "dental therapy groups" to help with the workload and compensate for a shortage in dentists.