Edentulism: A Growing Concern in Oklahoma

Defining Edentulism and Its Prevalence in Oklahoma

Edentulism is the complete loss of natural teeth and is a silent epidemic that is affecting many individuals in Oklahoma.

According to surveys conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oklahoma ranked sixth worst amongst all the states in the percentage of adults aged 65 and older who had experienced tooth loss. For the percentage of adults who visited a dentist or dental clinic in the previous year, Oklahoma ranked last amongst all the states.

Root Causes of Edentulism in Oklahoma

The root causes of edentulism in Oklahoma are multifaceted. We'll attempt to break down some of the key factors we feel are contributing to this epidemic below.

Socioeconomic Factors Contributing to Poor Oral Health

Socioeconomic factors, such as low-income and lack of dental insurance are likely contributing to poor oral health in Oklahoma. Limited financial resources can make it difficult for individuals to afford dental care, leading to delayed treatment and increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Those with low-income might struggle to properly care for their oral health due to:

  • Lake of dental insurance: Approximately 50% of Oklahomans do not have dental insurance which can make it challenging to access affordable dental care.
  • Limited access to dental services: Rural areas often face a shortage of dentists, creating barriers to receiving timely and adequate dental care.
  • High cost of dental procedures: Simple dental procedures can cost hundreds of dollars, making them unaffordable for many low-income individuals.

Access to Dental Care: Barriers and Disparities

Access to dental care is a significant issue for certain communities in rural Oklahoma. Some of the key barriers and disparities include:

  • Lack of dental providers: Oklahoma has a shortage of dentists, particularly in rural areas. In fact, 56 counties in the state have been designated as dental health shortage areas, with four counties having no dentists at all.
  • Geographic barriers: Rural areas often face challenges when it comes to accessing dental services, with limited transportation options and long distances to travel for dental care.

Lifestyle Choices That Lead To Bad Oral Health

Poor lifestyle choices are perhaps one of the most significant factors impacting oral health in Oklahoma.

Though Oklahoma has made huge strides in addressing its drug epidemic in the past decade, the latent effect of past decades of high recreational & illicit drug use is still seen in the number of people experiencing severe gum disease and tooth decay due to these lifestyle choices.

Eating a high-sugar diet with sodas and processed foods also has had a significant impact on Oklahoman's oral health and the neglecting of regular dental visits and skipping oral hygiene practices further worsens this situation.

What we are doing to help address the problem of edentulism in Oklahoma

We are helping people suffering from endontilism (tooth loss) by providing an affordable pathway to receive quality dental treatment. To address the problem of lack of dental insurance -  our in-house dental membership plan is an optimum dental insurance alternative that saves our patients hundreds on dental services ensuring finances don't get in the way of their receiving the care they need.

In addition, at each of our dental care appointments, we spend time getting to know each of our patients and do our best to equip each one with the proper knowledge and understanding of how to practice good oral hygiene and implement good dietary habits to help prevent edentulism and other oral diseases.

Lastly, for those suffering from partial or complete tooth loss, we offer some of the most affordable dentures in Oklahoma with skill and craftsmanship that is unsurpassed.

Don't Suffer With Edentulism Any Longer

If you or a loved one has been suffering from edentulism, you needn't suffer any longer. Give us a call today or schedule your free consultation to discuss your options for how we can redeem your smile and get your life back.


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