Thursday, September 08, 2011

Virginia is 95% fluoridated. "In Northern Virginia, 16 percent of lower-income adults have not gone to a dentist in more than five years, according to a report that looks at disparities in oral health in one of the most prosperous regions in the country.

“For people with limited means and no insurance, routine dental care is often out of reach,” said Patricia Mathews, president of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation. “Because of costs, they are more likely to suffer severe pain from untreated dental problems, miss time from work or school, or wind up in a hospital emergency room, which increases health-care costs for everyone.”

Three months after the Northern Virginia Dental Clinic’s Loudoun site opened in October, it had a waiting list of 300 patients, Mathews said. Although some area dentists volunteer at clinics or provide their services at reduced rates, the need far exceeds the number of dentists willing to provide those services, the report said.