Wednesday, February 9, 2022

America's Dental Care Shortage by Region

Data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) indicated that, as of December 31, 2021, more than 64.2 million Americans lived in a dental health professional shortage area (HPSA).  A dental health HPSA is a population group, geographic area, or facility where residents have subpar access to dental care because too few dentists work in the area relative to the size of the population.  The HRSA estimates that HPSAs throughout the country would need over 11,000 more dentists to eliminate the national shortage of dentists.

Here is a summary look at America's dental care shortage by region (for state-level details, follow the "region" link):

Region (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
Far West 1,242 7,702,002 1,216
Great Lakes 880 8,719,216 1,581
Great Plains 1,019 3,720,371 698
MidEast 400 7,091,021 1,321
New England 239 1,303,673 212
Rocky Mountain 420 2,769,880 342
Southeast 1,757 24,868,315 4,457
Southwest 798 7,601,945 1,254
U.S. Territories 48 459,827 100
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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