Over 830,000 ED visits in 2009 were tied to preventable dental conditions — a 16 percent increase from 2006 — a new report from the Pew Center on the States finds. According to the report, more than 16 million Medicaid-enrolled children, or 16 percent of that group, received no dental care that year; a 2008 survey cited by the report found that one out of every seven children aged 6-12 suffered a toothache within the last six months.
Among the other findings compiled by the researchers:
- Roughly 47 million Americans live in areas that are federally designated as having a shortage of dentists.
- 45 percent of Hispanics lack dental insurance.
- In 2009, Tennessee hospitals had 55,000 ED visits for teeth or jaw disorders, or five times as many visits as for burns.
- In 2010, Florida had more than 115,000 hospital ER visits for dental problems, producing charges exceeding $88 million.