Examining America's Dental Safety Net

Safety Net(1)
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Data Brief 
White Paper

This white paper examines the persistent unmet need for dental care and outlines the contributions of dental safety net providers, including academic dental institutions, in addressing it. 

Key Points

  • At least 74 million Americans had no form of dental coverage in 2016. The dental safety net provides crucial care for those who do not have access to care, such as the uninsured, under-insured and those who lack financial resources.
  • Academic dental institutions (ADIs) are one of the major providers of care in the dental safety net. ADIs are a resource to specialty dental services that are not generally accessible to Medicaid and low-income uninsured patients.
  • Dental safety net providers, such as ADIs, need adequate resources to support and maintain access and delivery of dental care, and to educate and train the next generation of providers to meet the growing demand.