Category Archives: Oral health

Controversy heats up over Native American tribes’ use of dental health aide therapists

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: Liz West via Flickr

Photo: Liz West via Flickr

Last July, Brian Cladoosby, leader of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in Washington, announced that his Puget Sound-based tribe was preparing to take a controversial step in an effort to address its longtime problems with tooth decay.

“We as Indians have long faced an oral health crisis and the crisis is only growing,” noted Cladoosby. “But there just aren’t enough dentists in Indian Country to address the crisis … That is why we are expanding the Swinomish dental team through the proven solution of training and employing dental health aide therapists.” Continue reading

Weaving data, human stories into compelling series on dental deaths

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.

Brooks Egerton

Brooks Egerton

In early 2014, a 4-year-old Dallas boy named Salomon Barahona Jr. died after undergoing sedation for a dental procedure.

The child’s death spurred Dallas Morning News reporter Brooks Egerton to embark upon what turned out to be a major reporting project – an 18-month investigation of dental safety in the United States.

Egerton sifted through thousands of records detailing patient harm and endangerment drawn from many sources: state and federal regulators, police, coroners, academic researchers, courts, litigators, insurers, dental schools and dentists themselves. Continue reading

States vary widely at providing better dental care to Medicaid adults

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: Parker Knight via Flickr

Photo: Parker Knight via Flickr

States across the country have shown progress in getting more Medicaid-eligible children into dental chairs in recent years.

Meanwhile, poor adults in many areas continue to go without care. A new study concludes that while 95 percent of American adults value keeping their mouths healthy, low-income adults often fail to achieve it. Continue reading

Investigation highlights spotty regulation of fatal dental errors nationwide

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 courtney0609 via Flickr.

Photo by courtney0609 via Flickr.

In a recent seven-part series for the Dallas Morning News, investigative reporter Brooks Egerton explores dental treatments that have ended tragically and gaps in the enforcement system that is supposed to hold the nation’s dentists accountable.

The Deadly Dentistry series opens with the story of a 4-year-old Dallas boy, Salomon Barahona Jr., who died in early 2014 after undergoing sedation for a dental procedure. Continue reading

Looking back at 2015 on Covering Health

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates social media efforts of AHCJ and assists with the editing and production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

top-25Bacon, chocolate, vaccines and Mark Cuban: Those were the topics of some of the most-read Covering Health posts of 2015.

Of course there was plenty of reporting about health reform, the business of health care, medical research and quality of life as the population ages. We also had some important posts addressing special concerns of freelance health and medical writers.

If you find yourself stuck waiting in a line or an airport over the holidays, you might take a look back and see if these posts spark any ideas for your future reporting. Continue reading