Friday, April 28, 2023

The Southwest's Dental Care Shortage

According to data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), as of December 31, 2022, almost 69.8 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, 2022, over 8.4 million residents lived in dental care shortage areas, representing about 12% of all Americans who lived in a dental health HPSA.  The HRSA estimates that HPSAs in the Southwest would need 1,363 more dentists to eliminate the dental care shortage in the region.  This deficit represented about 11.4% 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 249 2,984,483 485
NM 112 1,187,842 223
OK 176 1,073,200 180
TX 320 3,157,537 475
Region 857 8,403,062 1,363
U.S. 7,313 69,766,605 11,909
% of U.S. 11.7% 12.0% 11.4%

(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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