Media Coverage

New York Times: Oral Infections Causing More Hospitalizations

Left untreated, a serious tooth abscess can eventually kill.


Last year, a Pew Charitable Trusts report estimated that preventable dental conditions, including abscessed teeth, were the primary reason for 830,590 emergency room visits in 2009 — a 16 percent increase from 2006.

Until now, it has been unclear just how many patients end up hospitalized specifically for abscessed teeth or how much they cost the health care system. According to the new analysis, that figure was $858.9 million, after adjustment for inflation, from 2000 to 2008.

“That’s what we are paying instead of paying up front, and it’s such a waste, one with a high human cost,” said Shelly Gehshan, the director of the Pew Children’s Dental Policy project. “Dental insurance is eroding little by little, and affordability of dental care is something the industry has not addressed.”

Read the full article at

Children's Dental Policy

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