A report this week from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council looks at the consequences of inadequate access to oral health care and recommends ways to improve access.
Dentist chair at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where Debra Sperling, D.M.D., does cleanings, fillings, preventive care and applies fluoride sealants to prevent future damage.
The report is set for release on Wednesday but embargoed copies are available to reporters today, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT. The committee that wrote the report will discuss it at a briefing at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the National Press Club, which will be webcast (available at national-academies.org. Reporters can obtain copies of the report or register to attend the briefing by contacting the National Academies’ Office of News and Public Information at 202-334-2138 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just as with other aspects of health care, children, older adults, and people who live in rural areas are affected by economic, structural, geographic and cultural factors that limit access to dental health care.
Several entries in the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism have examined oral health care:
- 2010 entry: Out of reach: The rural health care gap, David Wahlberg, Wisconsin State Journal
- 2010 entry: State Lags in Dental Health Care for Children, Laurie A Udesky writing for The New York Times
- 2010 entry: Does the state have teeth to discipline dentists? by James T. Mulder, The (Syracuse, N.Y.) Post-Standard
- 2009 third-place entry: Kelley Weiss, of Capital Public Radio, looked at debt racked up on dental credit cards
- 2007 first-place winner: State of Decay: West Virginia’s Oral Health Crisis, by Eric Eyre, The Charleston (W.V.) Gazette [Tip sheet]
- 2008 entry: Carol Smith examined a dental death in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
- 2005 first-place winner: “The Trouble with Teeth,” Emily Hanford and Deborah George, North Carolina Public Radio [Listen to MP3]
Watch for more resources on oral health on the AHCJ website.