It's time to put the mouth back in the body. View a list of Virginia localities with and without a safety net dental provider.
Hundreds of dedicated professionals deliver oral health services to Virginians. Care providers include:
- Private practice dentists. There are over 4,000 licensed dentists in Virginia; just one-third accept Medicaid coverage, due largely to reimbursement rates.
- Dental safety net clinics. The dental "safety net" includes free clinics, community health centers and state-supported dental clinics. Currently, fourteen localities have no Medicaid dental provider.
- Virginia Department of Health dental health programs. School-based programs provide fluoride varnish and dental sealants to children in Virginia schools.
- Other sources of dental care include mobile dental clinics and primary care oral health screenings and referrals.
Community programs such as MOM Projects, Donated Dental Services, Give Kids a Smile Day and Care-a-Van also offer care to un- or underinsured Virginians.
Despite these sources of oral health care, the need is still tremendous. Consider these facts:
- Virginia Medicaid spent $7 million in taxpayer money in 2011 to treat dental issues under general anesthesia -- most of the patients were children.
- 52 percent of new armed forces recruits had dental problems that delayed overseas deployment, according to a 2008 study.
- Adults miss an estimated 164 million hours of work each year to treat dental problems.
- Preventable dental conditions were the primary diagnosis in 830,590 visits to the emergency department in 2009.
- And worst of all, dental disease can lead to death. Most have heard the story of 12 year old Deamonte Driver; however, many other children and adults have also lost their lives to complications from dental disease.
Contact us with questions about accessing dental services.