The Michigan Council for Maternal & Child Health (MCMCH) is an organization of diverse partners representing hospital systems, statewide organizations, local public health advocates and individuals, advocating for public policy that will improve maternal and child health outcomes through prevention programs, access to care and adequate funding/reimbursement for providers.
Oral Health in Michigan--Despite Efforts, Significant Needs Exist
Access to oral health care remains limited or nonexistent for millions of Michiganders, according to a new in-depth review of Michigan’s oral health status and dental programs. The report, Oral Health in Michigan, found that major challenges in accessing and financing oral health care persist despite proactive efforts to address barriers to oral health services, such as expanding Healthy Kids Dental, reinstating adult Medicaid benefits and other local initiatives. The Center for Health Workforce Studies, School of Public Health, University at Albany completed the report, published in April 2015. Highlights include:
Fewer Michigan residents are receiving dental care: More than 1 in 4 third graders had untreated dental disease.
Oral health needs are more severe in certain parts of the state: The number of third-grade children in Detroit (17%) in need of immediate dental care is 2.5 times higher than the rate of children in need of care statewide (7%).
The uneven distribution of the dental workforce impedes access to care: There is at least one dental shortage area in 76 of Michigan’s 83 counties.
Seniors, pregnant women, low-income children and other special populations are at risk for poor oral health outcomes: In 2008, 3 out of 4 new mothers in Michigan did not receive any dental care during their most recent pregnancy.
Download a copy of the full report here or view our infograhic summary here. In addition to the report, the authors also completed a series of in-depth interviews with a wide variety of oral health stakeholders in the state to better understand gaps in oral health access as well as barriers to care. Many thanks go to those individuals from around the state who participated in these discussions and shared their valuable input. Interviews of the Oral Health Stakeholders, May 2015, may be accessed here.
For more information about MCMCH's work with dental access, contact Amy Zaagman.