Category Archives: Oral health

Tip sheet, series provide template for investigating Medicaid dental care for children

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on oral health resources at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Rachel S. O'Hara /Sarasota Herald-TribuneFelix Perlata, 4, Alani Waiters, 5, and Cymia Martin, 4, floss their teeth before heading back to class at Morton Clark Head Start preschool in Bradenton, Fla.

Photo: Rachel S. O’Hara /Sarasota Herald-TribuneFelix Perlata, 4, Alani Waiters, 5, and Cymia Martin, 4, floss their teeth before heading back to class at Morton Clark Head Start preschool in Bradenton, Fla.

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

Covering anesthesia use in dental procedures for children

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on oral health resources at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo by Royal Navy Media Archive via Flickr

Photo by Royal Navy Media Archive via Flickr

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

Treatment offers an alternative to ‘drill and fill’

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on oral health resources at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Jan Fidler via Flickr

Photo: Jan Fidler via Flickr

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

Aging population means dental care access issues becoming more acute

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on oral health resources at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: lawrence_baulch via Flickr

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

Dental profession weighs in on the opioid abuse epidemic

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on oral health resources at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: hjl via Flickr

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