New Data From Vitals Reveals Dentist Shortage Leading to Growing Need for Access to Tools, Information for Preventive Care



NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vitals, the company that enables consumers to make informed decisions about both the quality and cost of their medical care today announced that it has added a dentist directory to its leading patient reviews platform. The new feature allows users to find and review dentists in all 50 states through Vitals, including general dentists and specialists. The data helps consumers make informed decisions leading to better and more affordable dental care.

Recent data shows that with only 155,700 dentists in the U.S. (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics), patients specifically in rural areas are struggling to obtain preventive dental care.

Based on Vitals latest dental data, the top five states in the U.S. with the smallest number of dentists per capita include:

Alaska: 665 total dentists, with nine dentists for every 10,000 people Massachusetts: 6,092 total dentists, with nine dentists for every 10,000 people New Jersey: 7,350 total dentists, with eight dentists for every 10,000 people Hawaii: 1,360 total dentists, with eight dentists for every 10,000 people New York: 15,505 total dentists, with eight dentists for every 10,000 people

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 49 million people in the U.S. live in health professional shortage areas, and have no access to dental care. Individuals without dental health access often end up in the emergency room. In fact, nearly one million visits to emergency room in 2012 were for preventable dental problems, according to a recent Pew Institute report. The impact to American wallets is high: the cost for emergency treatment averaged $6,498 per person, while the average preventive treatment fee was $660 a person.

Due to the dentist shortage, people are not getting preventive care for something as simple as tooth decay, said Mitch Rothshild, CEO of Vitals. Health care, overall, is increasingly complex. Making it easy to find a dentist, learn about the quality of care and gain insights into actual costs of procedures leads directly to lower overall costs and better overall health.

The dentist crunch is also impacting how long patients wait to see a dentist. The overall national average wait time for all dentists is currently about 17 minutes.

With nearly 3 million reviews, Vitals makes it easy for patients to find and connect with quality medical care. By incorporating dentist profiles with reviews and ratings onto their site, consumers can obtain crucial information that helps them choose a dentist, like location, expertise and specialties, wait time and patient feedback.

About Vitals

Vitals aims to make better health possible. We build tools that enable people to make informed decisions about both the quality and cost of their medical care. Through health plans, hospitals, and our leading consumer websites, Vitals helps Click here for more. more than 150 million people each year access informationfor better, more affordable care.

Learn more atVitals.com, Visit us onFacebookor connect with us onTwitter.

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