- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A report says Oregon should hire a dental director to help improve access to care and lower costs.

The recommendation is part of a strategic plan focused on oral health. Forty-seven states already have dental directors, and federal funding for oral health is linked to this position.

The plan from state officials and health advocates made these findings about oral health in Oregon:

- Emergency room visits for non-traumatic dental problems cost the state up to $8 million annually.

- While most Oregon children are eligible for Medicaid supported dental care, fewer than half ever see a dentist.

- And while adults got expanded dental coverage under the Affordable Care Act, most dentists in Oregon don’t accept Medicaid patients, and dental organizations that care for Medicaid recipients have limited capacity.

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