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Colorado Rural Oral Workforce Project: Report of Findings

April 1, 2008

Prepared under contract with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as part of its Colorado Rural Oral Workforce Project, this CHI paper examines findings specific to Colorado's rural dental workforce from CHI’s 2006 survey of licensed Colorado dentists.

Some findings:

The percentage of Colorado children with untreated tooth decay is unevenly distributed in the state, with the greatest unmet needs in geographic areas with a high percentage of low-income families.

In 2005-06, only 30 percent of Colorado children eligible for Medicaid received any dental services.

In 2002-03 in Colorado, 11,333 children between the ages of 3-5 years were enrolled in a Head Start program. Head Start program performance standards recommend that centers, in collaboration with parents, determine a child’s oral health status within 90 days of entry into the program. Nationally, 88 percent of children enrolled in a Head Start program have had a dental exam—in Colorado the rate is 93 percent.

Only 30 percent of adults over the age of 65 in Colorado have any type of dental insurance.

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