CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Many Virginians don't have access to dental care because of costs and a lack of dentists, according to a new study by two University of Virginia economists.

Cost is the greatest barrier. Those least likely to visit a dentist are low-income residents without insurance or who have low-cost public health care. Virginia's Medicaid program generally limits dental care for low-income adults to emergency services, the study said.

There also are racial and geographical disparities in access to care.

The study found that black Virginians were less likely to visit a dentist or dental clinic in the past year than other groups. Residents of the state's western and southern regions, which are more rural, were less likely to have received dental care than those in the urbanized northern and eastern regions.

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