Millions of Americans face challenges in finding oral health care services. Creative efforts are underway to tackle the problem.
Some of the more exciting initiatives aim to broaden access by delivering dental care in community and primary care settings rather than traditional dental offices. In a recent feature for Modern Healthcare, quality and safety beat reporter Elizabeth Whitman looked at some of these approaches. Continue reading
Vadim Anatoliyevich Kondratyuk and his daughters in an undated family photo before his death after complications from a dental infection.
The recent story of a young California husband and father who died after suffering complications from a dental problem serves as a sad reminder of the important ties between oral health and overall health.
Vadim Anatoliyevich Kondratyuk, 26, a long-haul truck driver, was headed east to New York when he started feeling pain in the lower left side of his mouth.
“He pulled over in Oklahoma to see a dentist, who diagnosed an infection and prescribed antibiotics,” recounted health reporter Sammy Caiola in a Jan. 31 Sacramento Bee story. Continue reading
America’s shortage of minority dentists is “large and growing” according to a recent study published in Health Affairs.
It would take nearly 20,000 additional black dentists, more than 31,000 Hispanic dentists and almost 3,000 additional American Indian and Alaska Native dentists to bring minority dentists into parity with their presence in the U.S. population. Among minority dentists, only Asians are overrepresented by percentage in the dental workforce, the study’s authors found. Continue reading
It took engineering and fundraising efforts as well as years of work by oral health and children’s advocates, but the Santa Clara Water District is finally providing fluoridated tap water to large sections of San Jose, Calif.
The sprawling city, with a population of more than 1 million, had been known as the largest metropolitan jurisdiction in the nation that lacked a fluoridated drinking water program. The decay-fighting mineral will be phased into water supplies as upgrades to the city’s water treatment plants are completed. Continue reading
Oral health may be essential to overall health but the enduring gap between dental care and medical care impacts everything from how care is accessed to how services are financed, from how providers are educated to how research is pursued.
For millions of Americans, dental care is harder to find and pay for than medical care. Physicians and dentists operate in separate systems and oral and medical services are rarely integrated. Continue reading