A Closer Look at Oral Health in Indiana

Dental Care in South BendThe newest ADA Health Policy Institute reports are out, which aim to paint the picture on America’s oral health, and they show promising results—particularly in Indiana. By national standards, The Hoosier State fared averagely in some areas, but outperformed other states in certain categories.

As a patient, these findings may seem trivial, but they actually illustrate how your state dentists balance care and business. This is important because what they view as relevant can directly affect the overall health of your family.

Take a closer look at how Hoosier dental practitioners perform, and see the opportunities and challenges the state has.

Attention to Medicaid

One in every two dentists in Indiana participates in Medicaid. This is 8% higher than the national average and definitely a huge accomplishment for the state’s dental industry.

Particularly in child dental services, the statistics only prove that many Indianan kids that belong to low-income families are getting access to quality care despite not having the means to get private insurance. Dental practitioners in the state are truly making serious efforts to narrow the gap between children receiving private dental benefits and those with Medicaid.

Dental Problem Prevention

Every dentist in South Bend, Indiana and other major areas puts a premium on preventive care. In 2013, 21% of children (ages 6 to 14) with Medicaid in Indiana received a sealant on permanent molars, which is significantly higher than the national average of 14%.

In addition, 95% of the population in community with water systems has access to fluoridated water as of 2012. This helps the great majority prevent tooth decay naturally, thus reducing the need for fillings and tooth extractions.

Plight of Dental Assistants

On a different survey conducted by the Dental Assisting Digest, dental assistants in Indiana are yet to get the prestige they believe they deserve. One of comments of participants is that they feel dental offices don’t value expertise and experience.

As policy-making needs to give certification more weight, dental assisting has a long way to go to become a respected and well-compensating profession in the state.

Indiana is generally performing well in the dental industry, but there are still some rooms for improvement. As these trends continue to go upward, an average patient should feel confident getting a check-up with the level of care state dentists provide today.