In recent months, Maggie Clark’s Two Million Kids series for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has explored many facets of the state’s troubled Medicaid program: a dearth of preventive and specialty care in many communities, problems faced by providers and a decade-long legal battle to reform the system. In a recent installment, Clark focused upon the shortage of oral health care services for Florida’s poor children. Continue reading
In the wake of the Dallas Morning News’ seven-part “Deadly Dentistry” series, Texas media outlets are now following the story of yet another child left dead after a dental visit.
Daisy Lynn Torres suffered complications from anesthesia while undergoing a procedure in an Austin dental office last spring, a medical examiner recently concluded, according to the Austin American-Stateman. Continue reading
A study presented this summer at an international dental conference has added to growing evidence that topical applications of silver diamine fluoride can serve as an effective treatment for tooth decay.
The paper, presented at the meeting of the International Association of Dental Research in South Korea, concluded that annual application the compound stopped the progress of root decay among community-dwelling elders living in Hong Kong. Continue reading
As America’s population ages, the shortage of dental care for the nation’s elders presents a growing problem.
Many seniors lack public or private coverage that would help defray the cost of dental services, according to a new fact sheet from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
“Perhaps the single greatest barrier is the inability to afford care,” Pew noted in its brief. “Seniors with dental insurance are 2.5 times more likely than those without coverage to visit a dentist and about half of seniors lacked insurance in 2015.” Continue reading
In a “dear colleague” letter to dental professionals last month, American Dental Association President Carol Gomez Summerhays urged dentists to review their prescribing practices and more effectively counsel patients about the safe handling and use of medications, especially opioid painkillers.
Summerhays also urged dentists to consult databases maintained by state-run prescription drug monitoring programs that could help them identify “doctor-shopping patients” whose prescription histories may reveal drug-seeking behavior. Continue reading