Much remains unknown about the oral health status of more than two million incarcerated Americans, but research suggests that many dental needs go unmet behind bars.
Reporting on the problem can be challenging. But in a recent project we wrote about, Keri Blakinger, who covers breaking news, prisons and the death penalty for the Houston Chronicle, found a way to document the desperate wait for dentures in Texas state prisons. Continue reading
Two high-profile safety breaches have highlighted the importance of close adherence to infection control protocols in dental clinics and offices.
In both recent cases, patients have been advised to undergo testing for HIV and hepatitis B and C due to possible exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
In Seattle and nearby Vashon Island, news broke in early April that nearly 1,300 students face infection risks because equipment used in school clinics was improperly sterilized. Ten school-based dental clinics operated by Neighborcare, a local health center have been impacted by the safety breach. Continue reading
America’s first community health centers opened their doors in 1965 and the system has been growing ever since.
Today, about 1,400 federally-supported health center programs provide primary care to an estimated 28 million patients – roughly 1 in 12 U.S. residents.
These clinics have always focused on reaching underserved populations. That has meant finding ways to bridge the financial, cultural and geographic barriers that contribute to the nation’s deep health care disparities. Continue reading
The approaches vary from state to state, but the new year is bringing renewed efforts to broaden access to dental services to millions of Americans who have long lacked care.
In many places, the need is particularly acute among poor adults. Across America, roughly 38 million of them rely upon Medicaid for a broad range of health care benefits. But while children are entitled to dental care under Medicaid, adult dental benefits are considered an optional part of the program. Continue reading
Michigan has become the latest state to approve the use of mid-level dental providers — dental therapists — as part of an effort to expand oral health care to communities that have long lacked it.
Outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation authorizing the new provider model in late December.
In a statement, Snyder said that dental therapists would serve as “a unique tool to target the currently underserved populations in our state.” Continue reading
Oral health can offer useful insights into a state’s livability.
That is a key message contained in WalletHub’s new report card: 2019’s States With the Best & Worst Dental Health.
This is the third year that the personal finance website has delved into dental care, crunching data from federal and nonprofit sources to come up with its rankings. Continue reading