Examining America's Dental Safety Net
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 Policy Points
- Over 108 million Americans lack dental insurance and thus access to dental care. 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 educate and train residents, dental and allied dental students to care for underserved populations.
- ADIs provide more than $74 million, each year, in uncompensated dental care and procedures.
- 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.