Millions of Texans need treatment for tooth decay, but affording it can be difficult. In 2013, 11 percent of adults nationally said they had forgone necessary dental care due to cost in the previous year.

The state wastes millions of dollars each year on emergency room visits for dental conditions. Poor oral health is also associated with serious medical problems like diabetes and heart disease and it hampers economic growth through lost productivity for adults and poor school performance for kids. Many Texans struggle to access dental care for themselves or their families either because cannot afford a dentist, there are no dentists in their area, they cannot find a dentist that accepts public insurance or they struggle with mobility and cannot go to a dentist’s office. 

  • Twenty percent of Texas’ counties have no dentists and 12 percent have only one dentist.
  • Almost 60 percent of Texas counties contain federally classified Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas.
  • More than 3 million Texas children have Medicaid coverage, but approximately one-third of Texas counties have no dentists participating in Medicaid.
  • Within 10 years, 37 percent of Texas’ general dentists will be at or past retirement age.

The Texas Dental Access Coalition is advancing a free-enterprise solution that improves access to dental care, creates middle-class jobs, and reduces health care costs. Our solution will allow highly-trained Licensed Dental Hygiene Practitioners to provide routine dental care under the supervision of a dentist.

This is a win-win for Texas. Patients will no longer have to travel to the next county for routine care, and dentists will have greater economic freedom to expand their practice. Together with our partners, the Texas Dental Access Coalition is working to bring dental care to all Texans.