“Nearly all dental disease is preventable.”
Every New Mexico resident deserves quality dental care provided by a qualified dental practitioner. Research suggests poor oral conditions affect overall health including heart disease, stroke, premature births and low birth weight, and links between gum disease and diabetes.
- Only 64 percent of New Mexicans visited the dentist or a dental clinic within the past year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- That same report also tells us that nearly one in five New Mexicans over the age of 65 have lost all of their teeth
- Approximately two out of three 3rd graders in New Mexico have had tooth decay – half of which has gone untreated.
- Less than one in five of New Mexico’s population has access to publicly fluoridated water. A measure that for over 50 years has been proved to be a safe and effective means to prevent dental disease.
- Nearly half the state’s population lost access when the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Authority Board stopped optimal fluoridation in the state’s largest public water utility.
- Over one-third of all New Mexican’s are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP (743,000 people, Nov. 2014)
- Adult dental benefits under Medicaid are extremely limited which results in inadequate treatment, expensive duplication of services, unnecessary emergency room visits and ultimately poor dental health.
- Bureaucratic “red-tape” and underfunding limit dentist participation which combined with cultural and geographic barriers results in unmet need.
- Every dentist in New Mexico had to attend dental school in another state.
- Dentists graduating from dental schools out-of-state typically have nearly four times the student debt as physicians graduating from our medical school at UNM.
- Excessive debt limits the opportunities for dentists to serve many communities and underserved populations.