Access to Dental Providers in Pennsylvania

Exploration of the County-Level Distribution of Dental Providers and Populations in 2013

by Matthew D. Baird, Michelle K. Baird, Joseph Vesely

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Ensuring access to dental care, particularly for children, is a significant policy concern in the United States. Many factors affect access on both the provider and patient sides. This report examines an important factor in the ability to access dental care: the distribution and availability of dental health providers. The authors assess providers across the counties of Pennsylvania, primarily using data from the 2013 Survey of Dentists and Dental Hygienists administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

To identify possible dental provider shortages in Pennsylvania counties, the authors assessed ten indicators of access to dental providers. They find significant variation in the indicators across Pennsylvania counties.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and conducted by RAND Health.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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