The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) designates Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas for geographic areas and population groups, and facilities when the ratio of persons to dentists exceeds a certain threshold. Once designated, the DHPSAs receive a score ranging up to 26, with higher scores indicating a more severe shortage of dentists. HRSA calculates scores by weighing: (1) travel times to the nearest providers, (2) rates of local poverty, (3) the ratio of people per dentist, and (4) the presence of fluoridated community water.
The maps and table below are based on information retrieved from the HRSA Data Portal in October 2016. Most DHPSAs are assigned to low-income or Medicaid-eligible populations, although entire counties also receive designations.