About the Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas Data

This page provides information about Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (Dental HPSAs) in Minnesota. The Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) designates Dental HPSAs as having a shortage of dentists.


Which pages include the data?

Dental Workforce & Access to Care: Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas


What do the data tell us?

  • The total number of Dental HPSA designations in Minnesota
  • The percentage of Minnesota counties with full-county Dental HPSA, partial county Dental HPSA, or not designated as a Dental HPSA

Why are the data important?

The purpose of the Dental HPSA designation is to identify areas of greatest need in order to prioritize limited resources. The designations are primarily used for recruiting providers for the National Health Service Corp, J-1 Visa waivers and state loan forgiveness/repayment programs and grants. In Minnesota, the majority of Dental HPSAs are low-income (i.e. areas that are at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines), therefore may represent areas with lower access to dental/oral health care and populations with greater risk of dental diseases and oral conditions.


How can we use the data?

  • Focus resources, program activities and dental workforce initiatives towards counties with a Dental HPSA designation (e.g. provider recruitment for Health Service Corp, J-1 Visa Waivers and state loan forgiveness/repayment programs and grants).
  • Inform educators, oral health, medical and public health professionals, researchers, grant makers, policy makers, and the public
  • Understand the link between people living in a Dental HPSA (county of residence) and health outcomes related to dental/oral health care access issues (e.g. increased emergency room visits for dental diseases and oral health conditions).
  • State and local program planning and evaluation

What will the data not tell us?

  • The number and geographic distribution of the total oral health workforce in Minnesota (including dental hygienists, dental therapists and dental assistants)

What are the oral health measures/indicators in the data?

Total Dental HPSA: The total number of Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas in Minnesota.

Not Designated Dental HPSA: The percentage of Minnesota counties that do not have a designation by the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce as a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area.

Partial County Dental HPSA: The percentage of Minnesota counties that have some areas of the county designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce as a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area.

Full County Dental HPSA: The percentage of Minnesota counties that are designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce as a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area.


How are the measures/indicators calculated?

Total Dental HPSA

The total number of Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas in Minnesota as of the month and year of data collection.

Not Designated Dental HPSA

The number of counties without a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area designation as of the month and year of data collection divided by 87 Minnesota counties, multiplied by 100-percent.

Partial County Dental HPSA

The number of counties with a partial county Dental Health Professional Shortage Area designation as of the month and year of data collection divided by 87 Minnesota counties, multiplied by 100-percent.

Full County Dental HPSA

The number of counties having full county Dental Health Professional Shortage Area designation as of the month and year of data collection divided by 87 Minnesota counties, multiplied by 100-percent.


Which populations do the data represent?

  • Geographic Dental HPSA represents the resident/civilian population of the area.
  • Low income Dental HPSA represents the population of the service area at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.

What are the limitations of the data?

  • In some areas, dentist FTE (full-time equivalent) which is an indicator for number of dentists is based on Medicaid claims data (4000 Medicaid claims equal to one dentist FTE) and federal regulation rather than on actual clinical survey data.
  • Potential new Dental HPSA areas are reviewed as requested. An area not designated as a Dental HPSA could be a result of ineligibility or not having requested to be reviewed for Dental HPSA designation.
  • Dental HPSAs in the dataset are updated sporadically, therefore the year of data reported is not for a calendar or fiscal year but as-is for the month/date of collection.
  • Trend analysis is not possible. The number of total Dental HPSAs, proportion of counties with full county, partial county and not a designated Dental HPSA status, and corresponding maps from one year should not be compared to other years.

What is/are the source(s) of the data?

  • Clinic surveys
  • Minnesota Department of Human Services Medicaid/Medical Assistance claims
  • U.S. Census 2010 and American Community Survey 2012

What is a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area?

A Dental Health Professional Shortage Area (Dental HPSA) is an area designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) as having workforce shortages of dentists. Dental HPSAs may be geographic (a county or service area), demographic (low-income population) or institutional (comprehensive health center, federally qualified health center or other public facility).


What are the criteria for Dental HPSA designations?

Geographic areas

  • Are rational areas for the delivery of dental services
  • Meet one of the following conditions:
    • Have a population to full-time-equivalent dentist ratio of at least 5,000:1, or
    • Have a population to full-time equivalent dentist ratio of less than 5,000:1 but greater than 4,000:1 and unusually high needs for dental services
  • Have dental professionals in contiguous areas that are over-utilized, excessively distant, or are inaccessible to the population

Population groups

  • Reside in a rational service area for the delivery of dental care services
  • Have access barriers that prevent the population group from use of the area's dental providers
  • Have a ratio of the number of persons in the population group to the number of dentists practicing in the area and serving the population group of at least 4,000: 1
  • Members of federally recognized Native American tribes are automatically designated. Other groups may be designated if they meet the basic criteria described above.

Facilities

  • Are either federal and/or state correctional institutions or public and/or non-profit medical facilities
  • Federal or state correctional facilities:
    • Have at least 250 inmates, and
    • Have a ratio of the number of internees per year to the number of FTE dentists serving the institution of at least 1,500:1
  • Public and/or non-profit private dental facilities:
    • Provide general dental care services to an area or population group designated as having a Dental HPSA, and
    • Have insufficient capacity to meet the dental care needs of that area or population group

Presently, Dental HPSAs are reviewed, renewed or withdrawn on a three-year cycle. New areas are reviewed as requested.


How should I cite the data and information?

Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas. Collected by the Minnesota Oral Health Statistics System, Minnesota Department of Health, Oral Health Program, June 2014.


Where can I find more technical information about the data?

Minnesota Department of Health Office of Rural Health and Primary Care

For additional information regarding HPSA Dental Care Designation Criteria, refer to the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW).

Health Resources and Services Administration Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Glossary of Terms.

Please send any questions or comments to the Oral Health Program.