Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Far West's Dental Care Shortage

December 31, 2021, reports available from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) indicated that over 64.2 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% of the U.S. population who lived in dental care shortage areas.  The HRSA estimates that HPSAs in the Far West would need 1,216 more dentists in order to eliminate the dental care shortage in the region.  This dental care shortfall represented about 10.9% 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 307 162,238 29
CA 501 1,993,173 362
HI 33 266,331 40
NV 66 866,096 155
OR 150 1,696,303 287
WA 185 2,717,861 343
Region 1,242 7,702,002 1,216
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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