According to a recent report from the Pew Center on the States, in 2009 there were more than 800,000 visits to the ER for toothaches and other preventable dental problems and this number continues to increase in the U.S.
One of the conclusions of the Pew report was that a major driver of dental-related hospital visits is a failure by states to ensure that disadvantaged people have access to routine preventative care from dentists and other providers.
Another factor is that roughly 47 million Americans live in areas that are federally designated as having a shortage of dentists.
The Florida Public Health Institute reported that 315 patients a day seek dental care in Florida’s hospital emergency rooms producing charges that exceeded $88 million.
To put these numbers into perspective, the website, Frugal Dad, put together an infographic explaining the costs and causes of this overall decline in preventative dental care –
Do you believe that there is a shortage of dentists in some areas?