ACCESS TO CARE 

According to the Institute of Medicine, access to health services means "the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best health outcomes."

On this page - 

Explore how individuals in our communities are accessing dental health services. Use filters at the top of the page to restrict and compare data for specific geographic regions of interest. Data on this page includes information for the general population of Inland Empire and specifically for those who are eligible for Medi-Cal. Data has been stratified by specific social and demographic variables, as available and applicable. 

EARLY CHILDHOOD (0-5 years)

Percentage of children (0-5 years) eligible for Medi-Cal, who had at least one dental visit 

(Annual Dental Visit) during the year 2016.


Why is this an indicator of interest?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child's first dental visit must be by his/ her first birthday. Early establishment of a dental home and access to timely preventive dental services can set children up for a healthy mouth in the long-term.

What is an Annual Dental Visit (ADV)?

A yearly dental visit to a dental provider that results in the receipt of a dental service in the range of codes D0100-D9999.

Percentage of children (0-5 years) eligible for Medi-Cal, who received a Preventive Service 

during the year 2016.

Why is this an indicator of interest?

Dental disease is largely preventable and regular visits to a dental provider (including at community-based settings) ensures timely receipt of evidence-based preventive services and early detection and treatment of tooth decay. Early establishment of a dental home and access to timely preventive dental services will also set children up for a healthy mouth in the long-term.

What is an Preventive Dental Service?

A dental visit that results in the receipt of a preventive service that lies within the codes D1000-D1999. For example, D1206- Topical application of fluoride varnish or D1351- Sealant per tooth.

Percentage of children (0-5 years) eligible for Medi-Cal, who had a dental home 

(continuity of care over 2 years) in 2016.

Why is this an indicator of interest?

A dental home is the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry). Having access to a dental home ensures better oral health outcomes. 

What is Continuity of Care?

Beneficiaries continuously enrolled in the same plan for 2 years with no gap in coverage who received a comprehensive oral evaluation or a prophylaxis.

Children 6-20 years old

Percentage of children (6-20 years) eligible for Medi-Cal who had at least one dental visit (Annual Dental Visit) in 2016.

Why is this an indicator of interest?

Dental disease is largely preventable and regular visits to a dental provider (including at community-based settings) ensures timely receipt of evidence-based preventive services and early detection and treatment of tooth decay. Early establishment of a dental home and access to timely preventive dental services will also set children up for a healthy mouth in the long-term.

What is an Annual Dental Visit? 

A yearly dental visit to a dental provider that results in the receipt of a dental service in the range of codes D0100-D9999.

Percentage of children (6-20 years) eligible for Medi-Cal who received a Preventive Dental Service during the year 2016.

Why is this an indicator of interest?

Dental disease is largely preventable and regular visits to a dental provider (including at community-based settings) ensures timely receipt of evidence-based preventive services and early detection and treatment of tooth decay. Early establishment of a dental home and access to timely preventive dental services will also set children up for a healthy mouth in the long-term.

What is a Preventive Dental Service? 

A dental visit that results in the receipt of a preventive service that lies within the codes D1000-D1999. For example, D1206- Topical application of fluoride varnish or D1351- Sealant per tooth.

Percentage of children (1-17 years) who received a Preventive Dental Service

during the year 2016.

NOTE: This slide presents findings for the general population of children (not limited to children eligible for Medi-Cal).

Pregnant Women

Percentage of pregnant women who had a dental visit during pregnancy in 2015-16

Why is this an indicator of interest? 

 It is recommended that a woman have at least one dental visit during pregnancy. In addition to dental providers, health professionals like physicians, nurses, and midwives can also play a critical role in promoting good oral health practices among pregnant women.

Poor maternal oral health has been associated with  pregnancy complications and adverse birth outcomes. Receiving preventive dental services and treating existing dental disease is vital to a healthy pregnancy. Providing pregnant women with reliable oral health information and highlighting the importance of preventing and treating dental disease is also critical for the future oral health of their children. 

Adults (21 to 64 years)

Percentage of adults eligible for Medi-Cal who had at least one dental visit 

(Annual Dental Visit) in 2016.

Why is this an indicator of interest?

Dental disease can affect individuals across the life span. Early prevention coupled with ongoing care and maintenance through adulthood is necessary. Individuals are at an elevated risk of dental problems like gum (and periodontal) disease and oral/ pharyngeal cancer during adulthood. Good oral health through adulthood also ensures optimal oral health as one ages and enters older adulthood.

What is an Annual Dental Visit?

A yearly dental visit to a dental provider that results in the receipt of a dental service in the range of codes D0100-D9999.

Older Adults (65 years and older)

Why is this an indicator of interest?

Older adults have unique oral health care needs and face a myriad of barriers in accessing care and maintaining good oral health.  Poor oral health of older adults is also fueled and exacerbated by natural changes associated with aging and other chronic health conditions. These conditions can negatively impact overall health by making it difficult to chew or speak, undermining nutrition, leading to infection, exacerbating chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes, impacting self-esteem, and lowering quality of life.  

In California, recent data shows that nearly one in two older adults residing in Skilled Nursing Facilities and one in three community dwelling seniors has untreated tooth decay. Demographically, more than 15% of Orange County’s population are older adults and by the year 2040, one in four residents of Orange County will be 65 years and older. Read the full report here.

Oral Health of Older Adults in California