December 30, 2014 — A new report from the University of North Dakota (UND) found that the state is fighting the same distribution-of-care issues as many other states, despite having one of the highest Medicaid dental reimbursement rates in the U.S., according to the authors.
The report also indicates that American Indian and rural children have greater oral health issues, with American Indian children having high rates of tooth decay, untreated decay, rampant decay, and need for treatment. Titled the “Third Biennial Report on Health Issues for the State of North Dakota,” the document was prepared by the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences Advisory Council.
According to the group’s findings, 12 of the 53 counties in the state have no dentists at all, nine counties have one, and another nine have two. Nearly 80% of the counties (42 of 53) have six or fewer working dentists. As in many states, dentists are located in the more populated areas, with two-thirds of licensed North Dakota dentists working in the four largest counties of Burleigh, Cass, Grand Forks, and Ward.