By Kate HuttnerA new study finds the dentist you get is not necessarily the best, or even the most qualified, in your health care.
Read more:The report, released Thursday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicare-Medicaid Services, found that the overall quality of care delivered by dental clinics and other health care providers in the United States fell from 2016 to 2020, from 81% to 79%.
The authors attribute the decline to “changes in care delivery practices and services,” but said there is also “a trend in the number of services that are delivered outside of the traditional dental office environment, such as health care visits, inpatient dental care, and home care.”
The report found that while dental clinics provided nearly half of all dental services, there were far fewer dental clinics than they used to.
The number of dental clinics has been steadily declining over the past 20 years, falling from about 3.4 million in 1991 to about 1.9 million in 2016.
While the report noted that the number and quality of dental care is an important factor in dental care quality, the authors note that “the findings also underscore the importance of obtaining the services that will be most beneficial to your overall health and well-being.”
What the experts are saying about this article Dentists who are on the front lines of the battle against chronic dental pain are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with the demand for quality care.
The report from the National Association of Dental Surgeons indicates that many dentists have to shift from providing only routine care to covering patients who require a variety of services, from routine checkups to emergency services.
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