PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 19, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Dr. Mo Saleh
understands the important role that proper dental care can play in overall health. Cavities, gum disease, and other conditions can become harmful and costly if left untreated. Many people know that they should visit the dentist twice a year, but this is not always a possibility. According to a recent article in The Huffington Post, many people lack access to dental care.
The Pew Charitable Trusts conducted a study that revealed some surprising results about dental care in the United States. It found that there are not enough dentists available for people on Medicaid in some areas, and that overall there is an uneven distribution of dentists across the country. According to the report, "45,115,590 Americans are living in an area with dentist shortages." This affects more than 14 million children in low-income homes. In Florida, 75 percent of children on Medicaid did not visit the dentist in 2011. This was the highest percentage of any state. In total, 22 states have high percentages of children on Medicaid that did not receive proper dental care in 2011.
One problem is that approximately 37 percent of dental professionals are close to retirement age. This could further decrease availability of services. Some people are pushing for the creation of positions for dental therapists. They would not have the same capabilities as licensed dentists and could not perform procedures such as filling cavities, but they would have the ability to provide preventive care. This would relieve some of the strain on dentists and allow them to see more people at their practices and provide more affordable care. Dental therapies may also have the ability to provide care in areas where it is currently lacking. According to the article, "one in seven live in an area where there is very little availability." Both Minnesota and some areas of Alaska already have these types of providers.
Because so many people lack access to care, they often head to the emergency room with they have dental problems. This is often very costly. The Pew Charitable Trusts found that in 2010, it cost residents of Florida $88 million for 115,000 hospital visits for dental issues. And of those visits, one third were made by people on Medicaid.
Having inadequate access to dental care affects the entire body, however. High levels of bacteria in the mouth can lead to tooth decay, gum problems, and periodontal disease. It also increases the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "gingivitis and bacteria can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease." Periodontal disease is also linked to cardiovascular disease.
"Poor dental health can lead to a variety of problems," explains Dr. Mo Saleh. "Preventive care and treatment are necessary to keep people healthy and protect the life of their teeth. There is a strong need to find ways to provide care for all people, regardless of their income or where they live." Dr. Mo Saleh stays on top of the latest developments to see how dental care is changing throughout the country.
Dr. Mo Saleh
is an experienced dental professional who provides state-of-the-art services to his patients. He has played a part in developing advanced and innovative technology and techniques to improve the dental care industry. He is the owner of two Portland area practices: Optima Dental and Dental Dynamics. His areas of service include implant, cosmetic, sedation, and general dentistry.