Missouri gets 'C' for dental health care

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 | 12:11 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — A new national report card gives Missouri a "C'' for state policies intended to help children receive dental care.

The report by the Pew Center on the States was issued Tuesday.

More than 1 million Missourians lack access to dental care, and roughly 28 percent of children enrolled in Medicaid received dental care, compared with a national average of 38 percent.

The report says Missouri meets policy benchmarks for having fluoride in drinking water, allowing dental hygienists to place sealant and tracking children's dental health. Missouri also allows medical providers to be paid for preventive dental health care.

South Carolina scored the highest in the survey, meeting seven of the eight policy benchmarks.

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