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.