State's 2nd worst in dental care for poor children

71 percent of Medicaid-enrolled children didn't see a dentist in 2011

Published On: Jun 25 2013 07:57:16 AM CDT
Dentist, dental office
MILWAUKEE -

A new report says Wisconsin's track record for providing dental care to low-income children is dismal.

The study by Pew Charitable Trusts released Tuesday says about 71 percent of Medicaid-enrolled children did not see a dentist in 2011. That's second only to Florida where 75 percent did not get dental care.

Wisconsin Dental Association past president Monica Hebl says the state spends less than 1 percent of its Medicaid budget on dental care. Hebl told the Journal Sentinel the reimbursement rate for Medicaid patients hasn't been raised in years.

Hebl said dental care affects a person's overall health. Gum inflammation, for example, has been linked to poor control over diabetes.