Too many North Carolina residents either can not afford to visit a dentist or can not find one where they live, and health leaders are warning that the situation will likely get worse. The News and Observer of Raleigh reports that while there have been major efforts to increase the number of dentists practicing in the state, population growth has outpaced that work. In 2007, North Carolina posted its first decline in the ratio of dentists to residents, a ratio that already was below the national average. A report by UNC Chapel Hill shows that four of North Carolina’s 100 counties have no dentists. Five more rural counties have dentists who are at retirement age.
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