Millions of adults and children do not receive essential oral health services each year. Profound oral health disparities exist due to poor access and the inability to afford care. As a result, untreated dental needs consistently rank as one of the highest causes of avoidable emergency department utilization in hospitals.
Poor oral health can result in lower quality of life and poor health outcomes. It can negatively impact self-esteem, employability and the ability to learn. Tooth decay is also the single most common chronic childhood disease, resulting in 51 million hours of school missed each year.