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Rural dentists few and far between

READ MORE: Rural dentists few and far between
In this long stretch of rural Bladen County, an area with more than 30,000 people, there are only six dental practices. "It's staggering; it's a lack of providers per population," said dentist Matthew Fell. The US average is 6 dentists per 10,000 people; however, Bladen County is well below that. Part of the problem is a lack of federal funding. Medicare doesn't cover dental care and Medicaid reimburses well below what it costs to run a dental practice. Elizabethtown is the hub of Bladen County, and believe it or not, there are only four dentists there. Dentists say once they graduate from dental school, they owe thousands of dollars and can't afford to set up shop in rural communities. Dr. Fell is avoiding that problem. He's part of a loan forgiveness program, in which the government helps pay his school loans in exchange for his services in small, rural communities. The cost to start a practice is about $400,000. So until dentists can come up with that money, practices in rural area will remain few and far between.

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That Dr. Fell is a

That Dr. Fell is a HOTTIE!!!!! I din't see a ring on his finger! Is he available?!?!!?!?

A lack of federal funding?

So the government is responsible to fix your teeth, too? Exactly what aspect of your life are YOU responsible for?


The UK has universal healthcare, or a form of it and look at THEIR teeth ;)

We need Dental Therapists

What is needed is to train Dental Therapists in this country. It just takes two or three years. They drill, fill and pull teeth as effectively as but more cheaply than dentists and have successfully worked for decades in developed countries. As a result, children in New Zealand have no unfilled cavities because they are seen in school by Dental Therapists every year. In the US 6.5 million children have unfilled cavities. A 12-year-old Maryland child died from untreated tooth decay. Organized dentistry is at odds with public health dentists on this. The latter favor Dental Therapists. Organized dentistry doesn't like any group infringing upon its lucrative monopoly - even if it means Americans must suffer with dental neglect. Organized dentistry has the political clout and deep pockets to influence legislators to do their bidding.