the state of dental health in these here united states: rotting

at least that was my conclusion after reading the excellent series of articles on dental health by June Thomas of Slate
it is long, enlightening and I can't recommend it enough.
some key points:

– why ist dental care separated from health care? there is ample evidence that dental health (lack of) correlates to serious chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes, digestive problems, etc,

-  dentists are doctors but not "really doctor doctors". the significant differences between medical and dental practices

– dental insurance 'separate and unequal' from health insurance

– the prevention model has been very successful in dentistry yet not in medicine

– the appalling lack of dental care to large numbers of individuals

– dental care hasn't gotten barely any mention in the current health care reform debate

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10 thoughts on “the state of dental health in these here united states: rotting

  1. Just color us behind in that fashion as well. Maybe someday we'll be as great as Norway or wherever is #1 in the health standings this year… <sigh>

  2. Amen. We couldn't afford the dental COBRA so we're just getting along with tooth ouchies. I'd love to go for one of my premolars, but all I can do is floss, brush, and hope.

  3. teh suck. I'm going next Monday for a crown. and the so-called-insurance pays less than half.sorry about your premolar. be careful and avoid caramel apples. : (

  4. I'm brushing, using hydrogen peroxide, and trying to keeping my gums really clean and hoping that I can hold on until I'm back at work and have some dental insurance to help pay for the repairs that I need.

  5. Haven't had dental insurance since I moved out of my parents at age 15. Vision, used to go alongside some of the health insurance policies I've had (while working the same place 14 years, it changes every year there, too–doesn't matter changing jobs) but I haven't had vision in years.I need both, of course. So, I wait about every 3 years to see an eye doctor and get new glasses (I'm blind as a bat, SUPER far-sighted, can't see shit in front of me) and I go into the dentist every 18 months or so. I save up cash. When I have $150, I go see the dentist. When I have $500, I see the eye doc. That's the normal drill (scuse the pun) for what it'll cost.My company offers them but I can't afford it. I can BARELY afford the health "care." It's now $400 / month out of pocket, if you ever dare to use it, there's a $1500 deductible (remember it took me 3 years to get $500) and the rx plan now is $10 for generic (used to be TWOUSD), $50 or $100.Right. I just don't take anything but generics (btw, Target and Walmart offer $4 generics, so I moved them to Target).It blows. I have flu, day 5 with around 3+ degree fever. So far, I've just missed work. Tomorrow, I dread it but I'll ring my doctor and see what she says. I don't think there's anything for it…I have a rare form of lupus and it may have kicked in, I don't know. Whatever. I just try to ignore things, which is the American Way.Sorry, ranting again. Loads of people have it worse than I do.

  6. I have been brushing and flossing, but I can't spend the money on a cleaning right now. I have insurance, but it's not a very good plan. I got a cavity last year (at least it was still tiny), so I went in for that and a cleaning…it was still way more than I thought/was hoping it was going to be with the insurance. Ugh. Teeth are so important…

  7. This series of articles really hit home with me. I've been battling dental issues for the last 18 months. Basically, I was in a car accident 15 years ago, which knocked out a few front teeth, so I got a bridge. A few years ago, my dentist discovered that the jawbone above the bridge was disintegrating (sometimes happens w/ trauma cases). I need dental implants, or the bone will just keep disappearing until I lose more and more teeth. Even though this is a medically necessary treatment….. of course, insurance doesn't cover implants because they are deemed "cosmetic." However, if I didn't pay for the treatment myself (thousands of $$ btw), the insurance would have to end up paying a lot more to keep pulling all my teeth and getting dentures, etc. So. Damn. Frustrating.

  8. that the dental insurance dares call all implants 'cosmetic' is so aggravating.. grr. your accident sounds really traumatic, hapa. glad to see you are mostly ok. one thinks that if someone were in a similar accident today, dental implants would probably be covered. and as expen$$$ive as it is, I'm glad for your sake that you are going ahead and paying for your treatment. it's your dentist discovered that the jawbone above the bridge was disintegratingyet another example of the ridiculousness of treating dental health as separate from 'non-dental health'

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