22 July 2011

Dental Care – Unavailable for Many

Not able to afford dental care? Are there no dental clinics near where you live? If so, your are like about 33 million other Americans. In a report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) they stated that the 33 million Americans live in areas with too few dentists to meet their needs, and millions of children and retirees lack access to good oral health care because they cannot afford it.

Under current economic conditions, it is doubtful that the recommendations of the report will have much success. Still you need to know what the report said:

According to the report:
  • 33.3 million people reside in areas where there aren't enough dental health professionals to meet the population's needs; 
  • In 2008, 4.6 million children went without needed dental care because their families lacked the financial means to pay for it; 
  • In 2006, almost two-thirds (62%) of U.S. retirees did not have dental health care coverage (Medicare does not cover dental health). 
To read the full report (242 pages) go to this link. A free downloadable PDF file is available in a box in the left column. Click on the download button and you will need to complete and form and then you will be able to download the file to your computer.
I have completed the first 100 pages, but the first approximately 30 pages covers most information and then the detail starts.

The experts stated that, “deteriorating dental health can have broader consequences for overall well-being. For example, poor oral health has been linked to heightened odds for respiratory illness, heart disease and diabetes. Rates of inappropriate use of emergency services also rise for those with poorer dental health.”

This is important to read and understand what may happen and if something appears in the news you will have some understand about what it may mean. Good luck and good dental health.

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