Sunday, January 07, 2007 Story: Rural areas short on dentists:

In 81% fluoridated Missouri:

"Lack of dentists and lack of education about dental care regularly lead to prolonged tooth decay, which in turn leads to painful, costly and avoidable procedures.

"It all comes down to the money issue for a lot of people. Money is a big obstacle that prevents people from going to a dentist at a time when they need to"

"'Dentists are the hardest thing to acquire in the rural areas,' ... 'We see a lot of times clinics have a salary for a dentist, and then three months or four months or even six months later they call back and they still haven't filled the position.'

"The local vacancies are part of a larger [nationwide] trend.