Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Southwest's Dental Care Shortage

According to data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), as of December 31, 2021, almost 64.2 million Americans lived in a dental health professional shortage area (HPSA).  A dental health HPSA is a geographic area, population group, or facility where access to dental care is impaired because too few dentists work in the area relative to the size of the population.  In the four-state Southwest, as of December 31, 2021, over 7.6 million residents lived in dental care shortage areas, or about 11.8% of all Americans who lived in a dental health HPSA.  The HRSA estimates that HPSAs in the Southwest would need 1,254 more dentists to eliminate the dental care shortage in the region.  This deficit represented about 11.2% of the national shortage of dentists.  Here is a summary look at the Southwest's dental care shortage:

The Southwest's Dental Care Shortage

The Southwest's Dental Care Shortage


State (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
AZ 211 2,307,555 398
NM 107 1,150,822 223
OK 169 1,044,074 181
TX 311 3,099,494 452
Region 798 7,601,945 1,254
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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