Dental care in America divides people into two camps: those who can afford regular preventive care and cleanings, and those who can’t.
In 2011, 33.3 million people in the U.S. lived in health professional shortage areas, which means that they have no access to dental care.
These so-called dental deserts contribute to a deep disparity in overall health. People who live in these places are more likely to get tooth decay and develop severe health problems. They also spend more money on care, and more time seeking health assistance in an emergency.
A full transcript of the Frontline report "Dollars and Dentists," is available here.