ADA Estimate of Dentists Serving Medicaid Patients Drops by 11%

The American Dental Association recently held a webinar in which members of a key study about Medicaid dental practitioners provided details of their findings.

Estimate drops by 11%

The main takeaway is that the ADA has now readjusted downward from 43% to 33% its estimate of how many dentists nationally participate in Medicaid or CHIP for child dental services.

The Powerpoint presentation used in the webinar "Dentists Who Participate in Medicaid: Who They Are, Where They Locate, How They Practice" is available below. The original paper on which the webinar was based is published in the journal Medical Care Research and Review and is also available online.

Key findings

The key findings of the study are:

  1. High-volume Medicaid dentists are less likely to be White, more likely to locate in a non-White, rural, or high-poverty area, work in large group practice, and be affiliated with an FQHC. This is consistent with medical care provider research.
  2. Racial and ethnic differences in Medicaid participation are not accounted for simply by where dentists locate. Controlling for the demographic make up of the neighborhood, White dentists are still less likely to participate in Medicaid than non-White dentists.
  3. Practice modality matters. Larger group practices are more likely to participate in Medicaid.
  4. Promoting growth within the segments of the dentist workforce that treat more Medicaid patients—dentists who are Black, Hispanic, or Asian, those that locate in rural areas—could create a more robust dental care safety net for low-income populations.



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