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Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA)

Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas

Dental Providers

dental care

Dental HPSA designations refer to a shortage of non-federal dentists, specifically; Doctors of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctors of Dental Medicine (DMD) who practice general and/or pediatric dentistry. Dentist FTE is determined with a calculation that incorporates hours spent providing care, dentist's age, and number of dental hygienists/assistants.

General Criteria

  1. For dental HPSAs the full-time-equivalent ratio must be at least:
    • 5,000:1 for a geographic designation,
    • 4,000:1 for a geographic designation with unusually high needs (i.e. poverty rate of 20% or greater), or
    • 4,000:1 for a population group designation
  2. The area designated must be a rational area for the delivery of dental care services. Arizona uses a rational service area (RSA) plan for primary care and dental HPSAs, which has been pre-approved by HRSA.
  3. Dental professionals in contiguous areas are over-utilized, excessively distant, or inaccessible to the population of the area under consideration.

Geographic vs. Population HPSAs

Geographic HPSAs look at all of the dental health providers and the entire population to calculate the ratio. For population HPSAs, only a subset of the population (i.e. low income 200% FPL or less) and the portion of dental heath provider's time devoted to that population (i.e. amount of care provided to patients on Medicaid or using a sliding-fee-schedule) are considered.

Dental HPSA designations are valid for three (3) years. See the Designation Process page for more information on renewing or applying for a dental HPSA designation.

Additional information on the designation criteria for dental HPSAs is available on HRSA's Shortage Designation Branch website.

Dental HPSAs in Arizona