Master of Science (MS)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Fifth Committee Member
Number of Pages
Access to care is a concern at the forefront of public health. Due to socioeconomic and geopolitical pressures, the distribution of healthcare providers across a population often does not coincide with the demand for healthcare in a specific geographic area. Rural areas typically do not have enough providers and urban areas typically have too many. This stark reality underscores an inherent inefficiency in the allocation of healthcare resources and is a discrepancy that must be addressed by state-sponsored institutions and programs. From a public health perspective, the problem of insufficient or lack of access to care is the greater of the two problems. Rural residents that require care face additional challenges that the urban counterpart does not readily encounter. They include the sheer lack of qualified providers that can address their specific concerns, lack of interdisciplinary care that is required for more complex medical and dental conditions, and higher costs associated with receiving this care, which may come from high transportation costs, long waiting time and long commutes. These barriers place unneeded pressures on the care seeker and can ultimately lead to aggravation of the medical or dental condition itself and poorer patient outcomes.
Geographic information system (GIS) mapping of the state’s general dentists and clinical specialists revealed an uneven per capita distribution of dental providers between the 17 counties in the state of Nevada as well as between the 55 zip codes of the Las Vegas Valley. The study found that 0.6% of Nevadan residents in the state lived beyond a 30-mile radius of a dental office and 1.7% of Nevada residents in the state lived beyond a 30-mile radius of a Medicaid-accepting dental office, with virtually all such residents living in a rural county. Moreover, the study found zip codes with a larger ratio of Medicaid-accepting dental offices in the Las Vegas Valley were associated with a greater percentage of children, minorities, and Hispanics in the population, as well as a lower median household income.
dentists; epidemiology; heatmap; medical; oral health; private practice
Dentistry | Geographic Information Sciences | Public Health
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Chen, Kelvin, "Mapping Nevada's Dental Workforce" (2021). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 4131.
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