Department Of Health Report Says Need For Better Dental Care
While there have been considerable improvements in oral health in the state over the last 30 years, the state surgeon general realizes that many persons in Florida, especially the disadvantaged, are not receiving basic dental care.
While there are many factors that contribute to this lack of care, the inadequate availability or access to dental providers throughout the state is a major concern. Oral health is essential to general health and well-being, says the report from the Florida Department of Health.
The lack of basic oral health care for all people in Florida contributes to the number of people experiencing poor general health. There is a need for innovative approaches in order to deliver appropriate and high quality dental care services to populations that have historically had difficulty receiving dental services in the traditional dental health care delivery model in Florida. This includes expanding community-based oral health prevention services and oral health education and preventive programs in schools.
Also, third party payer issues such as reducing Medicaid administrative burdens for providers and patients and increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates need to be addressed. Other issues include recruitment/incentives to attract providers to public health dental positions, legal/policy approaches to expand workforce or services, and training of providers.