The State of Oral Health

in the New River Valley

  • In 2009, 20% of the 241 clients in Montgomery County served by the New River Valley Agency on Aging reported that tooth or mouth problems made it hard for them to eat.

  • In the 2009 Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine's community survey of low-income and underserved populations in Montgomery County, 46% of respondents reported that they do not go to a dentist's office for regular care with an additional 14% using Free Clinic services, and 2.8% using the Emergency Room for care. In addition, 73.8% of respondents noted the need for affordable dental services in Montgomery County.

  • Virginia's Department of Health has designated Floyd and Craig Counties as Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas.

  • Floyd County has one of the highest (not good) ratios of dentists to total population of all counties in the State of Virginia; one dentist per 6,830 residents. For example, Roanoke has one dentist for every 1,416 residents.

  • Data from a BRFSS 2002-2004 study for The New River Health District revealed that a greater proportion of NRV adults had teeth removed because of tooth decay or gum disease as compared to statewide.

  • Although dental caries (tooth decay) are largely preventable, it remains the most common chronic disease of children aged 5 to 17 years---4 times more common than asthma (42% versus 9.5%). (US DHHS, Healthy People 2010).

  • Children of low-income families suffer twice as much dental decay as their more affluent peers, and their condition is more likely to be untreated. (The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research 2002).

  • In Virginia, children from low-income families have almost 12 more restricted-activity school days due to dental pain and disease than their counterparts from higher income families.

  • In Virginia, more than 1 million school hours and 75,000 work hours are lost each year because of dental treatment.

  • Children from families with incomes below 200% FPL are three times as likely to have unmet oral health care needs as children from families with incomes at or above 200% FPL.

  • Rural children are less likely to have insurance and receive oral health care than urban children.

  • According to the Surgeon General report, "Tobacco-related oral lesions are prevalent in adolescents who currently use smokeless (spit) tobacco."

This list could go on and on, but you get the point. Dental and oral health issues are pervasive, complex, and largely fly below the radar screen of public awareness. We intend to change that!

Serving the counties of Montgomery, Floyd, Giles, and Pulaski and the City of Radford, including Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Riner, Radford, Floyd, and Pulaski, Virginia.


© 2019 by Dental Aid NRV.