Dental health across the country has slipped in recent years and it points to the importance of having trained dental assistants and other dental professionals who can provide quality dental care.

The American Dental Association’s Health Policy Resource Center reports that the number of people visiting an ER for dental-related problems has increased from 1.1 million in 2000 to 2.1 million in 2010, a statistic that comes from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Dental visits to ERs has also increased in its share of all ER visits, growing from 1.06 percent in 2000 to 1.65 percent in 2010.

“The deterioration in private and public dental benefits coverage for adults has clearly created significant financial barriers to dental care—especially among young adults,” said Thomas Wall, one of the lead authors of a study called ‘Dental-Related Emergency Department Visits on the Increase in the United States.’

“Our results strongly suggest that the increase in financial barriers to dental care for younger adults could have led to a substitution of dental ER visits for dental office visits,” he added.

The decline in dental care indicates an increased need for dental professionals who can help address problems, especially through preventative care in a dental office. However, as more Americans gain access to healthcare in the coming years through changes in the federal law, the access to dental care will increase and so will the demand for professionally trained dental assistants.

As the need for improved dental care is felt across the country, now is the perfect tie to consider a new career as a dental assistant.