Free dental care day provides opportunity for broader examination of access to care

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at

Photo: Rob Allen via Flickr

In recent coverage of a free dental care day for low-income Mainers, Portland Press Herald reporter Joe Lawlor explored some of the challenges that have shaped oral health access in the state.

As he noted in his piece, new Democratic governor Janet Mills is preparing to oversee an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program.

Yet, the measure, which is expected to bring health care benefits to more state residents, could fall short in addressing their longstanding dental needs, Lawlor explained in his story.

In this new Q&A for AHCJ, Lawlor discusses his reporting on the outlook for improved oral health care in Maine. And he shares thoughts on the value of teamwork in covering the state’s long journey toward Medicaid expansion.

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