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Prevention First: Making Sure New York Smiles

  • By: Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy
  • Date: April 2014
  • Priority Area: Special Projects Fund
  • Type: Resources
  • Category: Data Set, Fact Sheet, Report
  • Document: Download

Overview

This issue brief from the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, with support from NYSHealth, provides an overview of the health impact and costs associated with tooth decay, and describes recommended prevention efforts for New York State.

Tooth decay is largely preventable, but many New Yorkers suffer from acute and chronic dental pain and the burden of high dental treatment costs. Data shows that 51% of New York adults said that they have lost one or more teeth to decay or gum disease, and one in four third-graders has untreated decay. Children from low-income families in New York are more likely to have untreated decay than their wealthier peers.

There are a number of prevention measures available to policymakers that can make New Yorkers healthier and save the State money, such as increasing the number of children, especially low-income children, who receive dental sealants. The Schuyler Center will be working with an advisory group over the next months and will have a set of further recommendations New York can take action on in the fall of 2014.

The Schuyler Center has also issued an accompanying fact sheet, "Dental is Fundamental—Ensuring the Smiles of All New Yorkers," and a subsequent issue brief, “Successful Strategies for Keeping Kids Cavity-Free.”