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Millions of Americans Lack Access to Dental Care: Report

(HealthDay News) More than 33 million Americans live in areas with too few dentists to meet their needs, and millions of children and retirees lack access to good oral health care because they can't afford it, a new report finds.
"Persistent and systemic" barriers continue to block many Americans' access to dental care, the report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) has found. And poor oral health can have dire consequences, the expert panelists said.
"The consequences of insufficient access to oral health care and resultant poor oral health -- at both the individual and population levels -- are far-reaching," Frederick Rivara … said in an IOM/NRC news release.
"As the nation struggles to address the larger systemic issues of access to health care, we need to ensure that oral health is recognized as a basic component of overall health," said Rivara.
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