This country is facing an oral health crisis—a gap between those with good oral health and those without. Its causes are varied and complex and it will only get worse without a comprehensive set of solutions.
Congress missed a terrific opportunity to address this in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by essentially leaving low-income adults behind.
Oral health is an essential needs for every one not a luxury.
Oral health isn’t a luxury — it’s essential. We recognize that dentists alone cannot solve the nation’s dental health crisis. Federal, state and local governments must be part of the solutions.
More than 181 million Americans didn’t visit the dentist in 2010.
A study by Harris Interactive with the American Dental Association (ADA) found that nearly half of lower-income adults say they haven’t seen a dentist in a year or longer. Overall, more than 181 million Americans didn’t visit the dentist in 2010. Nearly half of adults over age 30 have some form of gum disease, which can lead to bone and tooth loss.
The Harris/ADA study found that 40 percent of lower-income adults believe that the Affordable Care Act will help them obtain dental care. In fact, the new law will not provide substantial dental coverage for low-income adults.
Emergency rooms aren’t able to provide comprehensive dental care.
People suffering from dental pain need somewhere to turn for help. Frequently the place they turn is the emergency room of their local hospital. According to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the number of dental ER visits in the U.S. increased from 1.1 million in 2000 to 2.1 million in 2010. A separate study shows that in 2009, dental caries (the disease that causes cavities) and abscesses alone – almost entirely preventable conditions – accounted for nearly 80 percent of dental-related ER visits. While emergency rooms can provide pain relief and treat infection, few hospitals have dentists on staff so they aren’t able to provide comprehensive dental care. Moving patients with dental pain out of the ER and into the dental chair ensures that they get the right care at the right place. Read the ADA research brief (PDF) about the increase in dental-related emergency department visits.
Poor dental health could result to life threatening consequences
Poor dental health could result to:
What are the solutions?
Programs that move ER patients to a dentist. For example, Community Health Care Connections in Michigan refers patients from the Bronson Battle Creek ER to local dentists. More than 60 percent of the community’s private practice dentists have signed on to provide free care to those patients, resulting in over $1 million of care to 4,000 people over six years.In turn, dental cases to the ER have fallen 70 percent, and the patients — as part of this innovative exchange for dental care — “pay it forward,” with over 57,000 hours of service to non-profits.
Free Dental Care For Low-Income Families
My dental office will see, free of charge, as many patients as possible starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. on October 24. The event operates on a first come, first serve basis for oral cancer screenings, and a choice of an extraction, filling or cleaning. Please come to our dental office, located on 1548 East St., across from Shasta Regional Hospital on October 24. Please share this to help someone who needs dental care and cannot afford it.
In dentistry experience and Continuing Education are everything. Dr. Parvin Carter has over 30 years of experience in Practicing General Dentistry and 25 years in Orthodontics. She has thousands of hours of advanced training. In 2000, Academy of General Dentistry awarded Dr. Carter a Certificate of Mastership (MAGD) in General Dentistry. According to the Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, only 1% of US dentists achieve this high level of advancement. Dr. Carter is a Certified and Preferred Provider of Invisalign. She has successfully treated over 350 patients with Invisalign.
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