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Why disparities in dental care persist for African-Americans even when they have insurance coverage

from EurekAlert

African-Americans receive poorer dental care than white Americans, even when they have some dental insurance coverage. To better understand why this is so, researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the College of Dental Medicine surveyed African-American adults with recent oral health symptoms, including toothaches and gum disease. Their findings provide insights into why disparities persist even among those with dental insurance and suggest strategies to removing barriers to dental care. The findings are published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health. The study is a qualitative survey of 118 men and women intercepted on the street in Central Harlem. Although the majority of adults in the study reported at least some type of dental insurance coverage, this was largely limited to Medicaid rather than private coverage or other types of dental insurance. more

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