There were promising findings in dental care utilization reflecting quality-focused initiatives of the clinics. The following section highlights expansions in dental services and remaining access challenges.
The number of dental visits provided by community clinics has increased by 29% from 2012-2015.
This increase occurred in all but one SPA.
The number of full time dentists employed by Health Centers also increased dramatically.
Despite the enhanced role of community clinics in providing dental care, nearly two-fifths of adult residents report not seeing a dentist or going to a dental clinic within the past year, and in SPA 6 this proportion was 56%. SPA 7 also had a high proportion of adults not accessing dental care at 46.9%.
For children ages 0-17, roughly 1 in 10 did not access dental care in the last year due to financial reasons. This proportion was highest in SPAs 1 and 6 at 14.2% and 15.5%, respectively.
These are key findings from CCALAC’s 2018 Network Adequacy Report.
This project was funded by L.A. Care Health Plan to benefit low-income and uninsured residents of Los Angeles County.
Related read: Blog – Extracting and Treating Los Angeles’ Dental Crisis at its Root