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March JADA: Noncitizens in the U.S. forgoing dental care

February 24, 2016
 Image of JADA 2016 March cover
Noncitizens and naturalized citizens in the U.S. had a lower rate of dental service use and are more likely to have had tooth extraction when compared with U.S.-born citizens in a study published in the March issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

Researchers examined dental care for a total 98,107 adult citizens, naturalized citizens and noncitizens using data from the 2008-12 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

“Our study shows that many immigrants, particularly noncitizens, are lagging behind U.S.-born citizens in utilizing dental services such as comprehensive examinations regularly,” said lead author Fernando Wilson, Ph.D, an associate professor in the department of health services research and administration at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Considering the size of the immigrant population and its rapid growth, this means that millions of immigrants are foregoing dental care, and this problem is likely to substantially worsen in the future. Our findings demonstrate a clear need for targeted clinical and policy-based interventions to mitigate the legal and economic barriers to care many immigrants face when seeking dental care.”

The full study can be read online at

Other features in the March issue include evidence-based recommendations for antibiotic usage to treat endodontic infections and pain; expert commentary on the role the dentist workforce plays in driving access to care; and a summary of key points from the October 2015 ADA conference about genomic data as it relates to dentistry.

Supplementing the genomics summary is a video featuring Dr. Michael Glick, editor of JADA, and Dr. Bruce Pihlstrom, JADA associate editor for research, discussing genomics in the future practice of dentistry.

Every month, JADA articles are published online at ahead of print. The entire March issues is available online now.

In addition to print and online, readers can also access, read, share and search JADA from their phone or tablets. The JADA app is available for all iOS and Android devices through the App Store and Google Play.