Despite a gradual increase in the number of dentists over the past few years, North Dakota still does not have enough to provide routine care for the state’s growing population.
In North Dakota:
- Nearly half of ND counties have no dentists or just one (17 have none, 8 have one).[i]
- Only 56% of practicing dentists reported accepting Medicaid patients in 2015, despite one of the most generous Medicaid reimbursement rates in the U.S.[ii]
- According to the American Dental Association, ND dentists are the busiest in the nation.[iii]
- Over 60% of all practicing dentists are located in the four largest counties (Burleigh, Cass, Grand Forks, and Ward).i
- Allowing dentists to hire dental therapists would increase access to care for North Dakotans in rural and urban communities.[iv]
That means that under the present circumstances, it is virtually impossible for all North Dakotans to receive regular, routine oral health care. Those hardest hit by this shortage are residents in rural areas, Native Americans, Medicaid recipients and seniors.i
UND Center for Rural Health. ND Oral Health Report: Needs and Proposed Models, December 2014.
UND Center for Rural Health. Oral Health among ND Medicaid Recipients. December 2016.
Vujicic M. Solving dentistry’s “busyness” problem. JADA 146(8), August 2015.
UND Center for Rural Health. ND Oral Health Report: Needs and Proposed Models, December 2014