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News & Press: State & National News

Oral Health in Michigan Report Indicates Room for Improvement

Friday, July 10, 2015  
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The Center for Health Workforce Studies at the School of Public Health, University of Albany, released a report on the Oral Health in Michigan.


The report praises the states effort to increase access, but indicates there is also room for improvement. 

"The report shows we still have work to do," stated Karlene Ketola, executive director of the Michigan Oral Health Coalition. The approved state budget for 2015-16, which begins in October, phases in coverage for children in Kent, Oakland, and Wayne counties under the Healthy Kids Dental program, a program already in place in 80 other counties in the state.

Other highlights from the report:

  • 36.3 percent of Medicaid-eligible children had preventative dental care in 2013 compared to 8.2 percent in 1999. The national average is 38.5 percent.
  • 70.3 percent of third-graders in the Upper Peninsula had experienced tooth decay compared to 55.9 percent statewide.
  • 16.8 percent of children in Detroit were in need of immediate dental care compared to 7 percent statewide.
  • Michigan has 62 dentists per 100,000 people; however, they are no spread sufficiently throughout the state.

"There's a significant increase in insurance coverage and programs for increased access," Karlene Ketola, executive director of the Michigan Oral Health Coalition said. "The report shows that we still have work to do to address the problem."

The Michigan Council for Maternal & Child Health is exploring solutions to address the issue of dental access in Michigan including increasing the number of dental professionals and improving oral health education for Michigan residents.

"The future of a healthy Michigan is about integrated alternatives that provide affordable and accessible dental health care no matter where people live or their health insurance coverage" stated Kim Sibilsky, Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Primary Care Association. 

Source: Gongwer, Michigan Council for Maternal & Child Health


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