Voice of America: More Americans Turn to ER for Dental Care
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — Four-year-old Emily Bratcher is having a cavity filled.
And as uncomfortable as getting a tooth drilled might be, she’s lucky to be sitting in Rhonda Switzer's dentist chair at all.
And just as unfortunately, the problem is only getting worse. The Pew Charitable Trusts released a study earlier this year that indicates the U.S. has a severe shortage of dentists.
More than half of those currently in practice are nearing retirement. Even more alarming, a growing number of Americans are showing up at hospital emergency rooms looking for dental care.
“This is the 'canary in the coal mine.' This is the symptom that tells you we have a broken dental delivery system,” said Shelly Gehshan, director of the Pew Children’s Dental Policy campaign. “We don’t have enough dentists. We don’t have enough clinics. We don’t have enough dental insurance. We don’t have enough financing in the system. We don’t have enough prevention. It’s a neglected area.”
Read the full article at voanews.com.
- Children's Dental Policy