Dental Health & Access To Dental Health.

3220 words - 13 pages

Dental Health and Access to Dental CareOral health is an integral part of general health and well-being. Good oral health and freedom from oral pain and infection substantially contribute to quality of life and self-esteem. Poor oral health, on the other hand, is an obstacle to good nutrition, can severely affect people's ability to carry out the normal activities of daily life. It is also a risk factor for such major systemic diseases as coronary heart disease. The oral health of Americans has improved greatly over the past 50 years, but there are areas where severe oral health problems remain. Experts estimate that as many as 42 million Americans have no insurance coverage for dental care, and low-income families that have some type of health insurance still find it difficult to obtain quality health care (Summary...). Many people in America without insurance do not see dentist on a regular basis and have poor oral health which can lead to poor overall health (A Solution...).Constant pain from decaying teeth can make a good night's sleep impossible, causing adults and youths to be irritable and too tired to concentrate at work or school. Gum disease (It is also called periodontal disease and is defined as the inflammation of the structures that surround and support the teeth) can make it painful to chew or eat certain foods (Gum Disease). People with severe dental disease, such as untreated abscesses, can wind up with a deformed jaw or chronic halitosis (bad breath). These last two conditions can additionally cause embarrassment and low self-esteem, make a person less apt to socialize; and more apt to stay isolated - and, in general, just feel miserable.Community health centers (CHCs) are one of the sources of health care for low-income consumers. CHCs provide health care to low-income families, particularly theuninsured. They are typically private, nonprofit, consumer-directed health carecorporation that provides comprehensive primary and preventative care to medically underserved people (Program...). I work as a Dental Assistant for one of these Community Health Dental Clinics in Everett. Many people that are seen at our clinic tell about their experiences of how extremely difficult it is to find a dentist who'd 'fit their pocketbook' or take Medicaid. One mother of a Medicaid insured child recently told us: "I could not get a dentist who would take Medicaid. I got the phone book and went through about 20-30 dental offices, and no one wanted to take Medicaid. I just gave up. I didn't know what to do. My child was in severe pain day and night, and I simply couldn't help him." Another single mom of three kids said: "This one dentist did take our insurance for low-income families but one day we received a bill for a huge amount that I wasn't able to pay off with my little child-support money I was getting from the State. I called our dentist to find out what was going on, and they simply told me that procedures that my children received at their...

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