OK. That’s not fair to say that all West Virginians or even most West Virginians are missing teeth, but the reputation has been there for many years and for once I think I know why…
According to a recent report by the US Department of Health and Human Resources, 24.6% of the population receives Medicaid. Admittedly I am not sure how many of these are children versus adults but regardless, the reputation of being toothless is geared to West Virginia adults, not kids.
In a conversation with my dentist this morning, I learned that some years ago, the State of West Virginia stopped offering dental insurance through Medicaid. For the few years they did offer it there were many dentists who took advantage of the system and bankrupted it. The only dental insurance available now for adults with Medicaid is EXTRACTIONS.
There we go. With nearly 450,000 West Virginians not insured for anything other than EXTRACTIONS, now it is clear (at least to me) why so many are TOOTHLESS. Medicaid wont pay to treat, only remove.