Colorado dentist shortage to strain under health law

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DENVER (AP) New dental care benefits are coming to hundreds of thousands of Coloradans next year because of the health care overhaul. But Colorado is short on dentists, especially dentists who serve Medicaid patients.

The Denver Post reports that the dentist crunch has prompted a new statewide campaign by the Colorado Dental Association to get more dentists to treat the needy.

About 335,000 current Medicaid adults gain access to dental care in the spring. Tens of thousands more will join Medicaid rolls under the Affordable Care Act expansion.

Colorado has about 3,600 dentists. Nine counties have no dentists at all. The state has only about 1,000 dentists actively enrolled as Medicaid providers.

The CDA is asking each dentist in the state to accept at least five Medicaid patients or families in the coming year.

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