by Jane S. Grover, D.D.S., M.P.H., Director, Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention, American Dental Association (ADA)
“While Congress continues the seemingly endless debate over healthcare reform, we need to remember that community-based solutions are addressing our health equity crisis right now. The Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC), along with improved Medicaid dental benefits, are proven, complementary solutions to a complex problem.
“First, consider the challenge. 2.2 million people visit hospital emergency departments (ED) each year for dental pain, according to the ADA’s Health Policy Institute. 91% of adults aged 20-64 have caries, the disease that causes tooth decay and cavities, and nearly a third (27%) go untreated, according to the CDC. Almost half (47%) of people over age 30 have some form of gum disease.”
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