dentalgraphMore Americans are turning to the emergency room for toothaches and other avoidable dental problems, according to a new report by the Pew Center on the States.

Preventable dental conditions were the primary reason ER visits for dental problems increased 16 percent from 2006 to 2009. Most of those cases could have been avoided by regular checkups that went untreated, analysis said, but many didn’t have access to a dentist.

Hospital visits can be reduced simply by strengthening oral health and reducing costs by making “modest investments to improve access to preventative care,” Pew says.

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