Wednesday, January 19, 2022

New England's Dental Care Shortage

December 31, 2021, data from the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) indicated that more than 64.2 million Americans lived in a dental health HPSA (health professional shortage area).  A dental health HPSA is a population group, geographic area, or facility where residents have substandard dental care access because too few dentists serve the area relative to the population living in the HPSA.  HPSAs in the six-state New England region of the country were home to 1.3 million residents, or about 2% of the U.S. population who lived in dental care shortage areas.  The HRSA estimates that New England HPSAs would need 212 more dentists in order to eliminate the dental care shortage in the region.  This shortfall represented about 1.9% of the nation's dental care shortage.  Further examination of the HRSA's 12/31/21 data provides the following details about New England's dental care shortage:

New England's Dental Care Shortage

New England's Dental Care Shortage

State (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
CT 39 396,404 101
ME 92 363,874 58
MA 59 325,211 21
NH 22 28,265 7
RI 13 160,491 23
VT 14 29,428 2
Region 239 1,303,673 212
U.S. 6,803 64,236,250 11,181

(1) Designated Geographic, Population Group and Facility HPSAs with a dental care shortage
(2) Population of designated HPSAs
(3) Dental Care practitioners needed to remove HPSA Designation

Source:  Designated HPSA Quarterly Summary, 12/31/21 (HRSA)

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