Public forum in Grand Forks, North Dakota discussed the connection between poverty and dental health in order to discuss how things can be worked on at the state level.
Participants in the forum discussed how financial setbacks can prevent people from being able to afford dental care. Poverty has a huge impact on whether a person receives dental care or not. Lack of insurance, Medicaid and lack of transportation are all reasons that a person whom is living in poverty may not receive dental care.
“If you’re wondering about where your next meal is coming from or if your electricity is going to be shut off, going to the dentist is just not on the front burner,” said Rae Ann Hanson, an employee of Valley Community Health Centers in Grand Forks. “For most people it’s a basic need, but to those living in poverty, it’s a luxury.”
Dentists in the North Dakota area are trying to do what they can in order to help those who are living in these conditions to receive dental care. Over the last seven years, dentists in the state have donated nearly $1.5 million.