Only 45% of Americans 2 or older have had dental care in the last year

By Sen. BERNIE SANDERS

McClatchy-Tribune

The United States is in the midst of a major dental crisis. There are 130 million Americans who have no dental insurance. One-fourth of adults age 65 or older have lost all their teeth. Only 45 percent of Americans age 2 and older had a dental visit in the last 12 months, and more than 16 million low-income children go each year without seeing a dentist.

Lack of dental access is a national problem but those who are most impacted are people who are low-income, racial or ethnic minorities, pregnant women, older adults, those with special needs, and those who live in rural communities. Simply put, the groups that need care the most are the least likely to get it. As chair of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, we released a report at a recent hearing on the dental crisis in America.

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