Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  The Cook County Board is talking about access to dental care!


Facts like these prompted them to inventory their existing dental services:

· More than 1.4 million Cook County residents are registered for government healthcare - nearly half of the state's public aid population.

· It is estimated that one-third of Illinois' underserved population lives in Cook County.

· There is just one clinic for every 15,700 uninsured children on public aid. There are thousands more children who don't qualify for public aid that lack access to dental care.

· In Chicago, 64 percent of third graders have experienced cavities and 36 percent have untreated cavities.

· Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) dental clinics offer only basic dental care referring specialty procedures to Stroger Hospital Oral Surgery or University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry where patients can wait another two to three months for treatment.

· Between 2005-2009, Cook County closed half of its dental clinics, leaving just four clinics in Bridgeview, Ford Heights, Maywood and Rolling Meadows. This resulted in the majority of the county's population having no access to dental services.

· In 2000, the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) served close to 11,900 dental patients. In 2009, fewer than 5,000 patients were treated.

· There are no county operated dental clinics in the City of Chicago.

· The average wait time for initial and follow-up visits is two to three months.

· The average wait time for emergency care is three weeks.

Read more about the Cook County Board's discussion here.