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Is There a Dentist in the House?

June 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

dentists neededIn an age when cosmetic dentistry is on the rise and people are concerned about the oral health of their pets’ teeth, many across the globe have trouble getting to see a dentist for more important things – from regular checkups to treatment of life-threatening dental abscesses. Add to this that we now know for a fact dental disease contributes to overall, serious health problems, and we have the makings of a real moral dilemma.

NHS Waiting List Reaches 30K in UK

A recently-released study by the British Medical Journal tells us that in the UK, hospitalization for dental abscesses has doubled in the past ten years. Internet news relates horror stories about people pulling their own rotting teeth. And the waiting list for an adult to see an NHS dentist is 30,000 names deep. A new dental school in the North-east will offer some relief, and dentists who work with children and adult patients (who are exempt from charges) may gain new funding, thanks to efforts by the BDA’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee. However, 30,000 is a lot of people. You’re American, you say? If you think that the UK is the only place with problems, you’re wrong.

The Dental Lottery of the Treasure Coast

In Florida’s Treasure Coast (US), a dental lottery has stolen the smile off of some people’s faces. Indian River County has only one dentist who works part time providing dental care to non-insured and low-income adults. Who gets to determine which people see the dentist? Fate. Names are literally dropped into a hat and plucked out, one at a time. The lucky winner gets to see the dentist. In the Treasure Coast, dental clinics run by the health department primarily cater to children and adolescents. According to a local’s report, 25 to 50% of the adults who show up for the lottery two mornings per week are turned away.

Half the Kids Have Never Been to the Dentist

In Georgia (US), Help A Child Smile, a mobile dental care program initiated by Dr. Mark Shurett and his associates in 1993, parked at Coweta County Health Department last week. About 50% of the kids that Help A Child cares for have never been to the dentist. The mobile dental center comes equipped with a dentist, a hygienist, two assistants, a mobile manager, and an X-ray tech. Children can receive a full exam, X-rays, supplemental fluoride and dental sealants, and composite fillings, if necessary.

A Little Help from Our Friends and Government

The ADA-backed Oral Health Initiative Act is intended to help non-insured and/or low-income families gain better access to dental care. In addition, many charities, such as Give Kids a Smile, Donated Dental Services, the aforementioned Help A Child Smile, and many other local, state, and national programs strive to provide much-needed dental care to the underprivileged. If you’d like to become involved in a charitable dental organization, contact the above organizations, your local health department, or the state dental board.

SOURCES: Evening Express , Medical News Today ,Hi-Mag, Times Herald, TC Palm

Tags: News