Cavity Country

Rural America has too few dentists – and too few patients who can pay.

Via the Washington Post.

Lynnel Beauchesne’s dental office hugs a rural crossroads near Tunnelton, W.Va., population 336. Acres of empty farmland surround the weathered one-story white building; a couple of houses and a few barns are the only neighbors. But the parking lot is full. Some people have driven hours to see Beauchesne, the sole dentist within 30 miles. She estimates that she has as many as 8,000 patients. Before the office closes at 7 p.m., she and her two hygienists will see up to 50 of them, not counting emergencies.

About 43 percent of rural Americans lack access to dental care, according to the National Rural Health Association, and West Virginia, among the poorest and most rural states, is at the center of the crisis.

Read more at the Washington Post.

About Anne Kim