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Many lack access to dental care in Ohio

According to the 2013 Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP), nearly 4 in 10 (39 percent) of Ohio adults reported having no dental insurance. “We estimate that nearly 3.5 million Ohio adults lack dental insurance,” says Francie Wolgin, senior program officer for Interact for Health (formerly The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati). “Having dental insurance is an important factor in being able to get oral health care,” she says. Interact for Health funds the Ohio Health Issues Poll. Adults without health insurance, those living in poverty and those older than age 65 were more likely to report not having dental insurance.
CINCINNATI - Sept. 25, 2013 - According to the 2013 Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP), nearly 4 in 10 (39 percent) of Ohio adults reported having no dental insurance. “We estimate that nearly 3.5 million Ohio adults lack dental insurance,” says Francie Wolgin, senior program officer for Interact for Health (formerly The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati). “Having dental insurance is an important factor in being able to get oral health care,” she says. Interact for Health funds the Ohio Health Issues Poll. Adults without health insurance, those living in poverty and those older than age 65 were more likely to report not having dental insurance.

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Routine dental care is essential in maintaining overall health and well-being. “Poor oral health can have a negative effect on a person’s nutrition, appearance and speech,” says Theresa Wukusick, Executive Director, the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio (HPF-Ohio). HPF-Ohio focuses on improving oral health in its 36-county service area of Ohio. “Pain and suffering because of poor oral health can lower quality of life by limiting one’s ability to sleep, work and socialize. It can raise the risk of infection, heart disease and death.”

Having a usual oral health care provider is known as a usual source of care. People who have a usual source of care are more likely to seek appropriate and timely health care when they need it. About 4 in 10 Ohio adults (37 percent) said that they do not have a personal dentist or oral health provider. Among those who do not have dental insurance, nearly half (49 percent) have not been to a dentist in the past year. African Americans (44 percent) and those who live below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (54 percent) also were less likely to have visited a dentist in the past year.

Among Ohio adults who hadn’t been to the dentist in the past year, 4 in 10 said cost (23 percent) or a lack of dental insurance (17 percent) was the most important reason they hadn’t been to a dentist. 


About the Ohio Health Issues Poll
The 2013 Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP) is funded by Interact for Health. The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio provided support for the oral health questions on OHIP. OHIP was conducted May 19-June 2, 2013, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 868 adults from throughout Ohio was interviewed by telephone. This included interviews conducted by landline telephones and cell phones. In 95 of 100 cases, the statewide estimates will be accurate to ±3.3%. There are other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as non-response, question wording or context effects that can introduce error or bias. Find out more information about the Ohio Health Issues Poll.

About Interact for Health
Interact for Health, formerly The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, improves the health of people in the Cincinnati region by being a catalyst for health and wellness. We accomplish our mission by promoting healthy living through grants, education, and policy. Interact for Health is an independent nonprofit that serves 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

About the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio (HPF-Ohio)
The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio is a $25 million supporting organization of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. HPF-Ohio has awarded more than $14 million in grants to address some of the most pressing, yet neglected, health issues faced by Ohioans - preventive oral health care, family violence prevention and strengthening Ohio's safety net.



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