Thursday, April 20, 2023

The Far West's Dental Care Shortage

December 31, 2022, reports available from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) indicated that over 69.7 million Americans resided in areas designated as dental health professional shortage areas (HPSA).  A dental health HPSA is a population group, geographic area, or facility where residents have poor access to basic dental care because too few dentists serve the area relative to the population of the HPSA.  HPSAs in the six-state Far Western U.S. accounted for 12.5% of the U.S. population who lived in dental care shortage areas.  The HRSA estimates that HPSAs in the Far West would need 1,344 more dentists in order to eliminate the dental care shortage in the region.  This dental care shortfall represented about 11.3% of the nation's dentist shortage.  Here is a summary look at the Far West's dental care shortage:

The Far West's Dental Care Shortage

The Far West's Dental Care Shortage

State (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
AK 318 415,101 60
CA 529 2,557,394 413
HI 33 266,728 41
NV 71 1,051,708 191
OR 157 1,742,101 295
WA 194 2,719,838 344
Region 1,302 8,752,870 1,344
U.S. 7,313 69,766,605 11,909
% of U.S. 17.8% 12.5% 11.3%

(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, 12/31/22 (HRSA)

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