Did you know that North Carolina ranks very near the bottom (# 47) in the nation for availability of dental care access? The news is better, however, for those looking for dental care in Raleigh. Wake County is one of eight North Carolina counties with dentist-to-patient ratios that exceed the national average. (Durham and Orange counties are also among the eight.) If you combine June 2009 figures from the North Carolina Dental Board with 2008 census figures for Raleigh, you can extrapolate that for every 1,350 residents, there is one general dentist providing dental care in Raleigh.
The low ranking for the state is a bit surprising, especially since 80% of the students admitted to the UNC School of Dentistry come from North Carolina. The dentistry school is recognized as one of the top in the nation for both education and research. (Unlike medical and law schools, schools of dentistry in the U.S. have no “official” national rankings. But UNC is one the most highly acclaimed schools in the informal rankings that appear from time to time.) It seems like a lot of graduates who were originally residents of NC must be relocating to other states in order for our statewide ranking to be that low.