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American Indian and Alaska Native Communities Bear the Heaviest Oral Disease Burden

A white paper recently published by the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health®, Society of American Indian Dentists, and National Indian Health Board’s Tribal Oral Health Initiative shows that American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities suffer greatly when it comes to oral health. The paper “American Indian and Alaska Native Communities Face a ‘Disproportionate Burden of Oral Disease’” also provides recommendations on how oral health disparities in these communities can best be alleviated. Some of the findings include:

  • Prevalence of early childhood caries is three times higher among AI/AN children than white children
  • AI/AN adults are twice as likely to have untreated dental caries than the overall United States population
  • AI/AN individuals visited the emergency department due to dental needs 3.5 times more often than Americans who are not AI/AN

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