Millions Of U.S. Children Do Not Receive Dental Care — Shocking Report

Tue, April 24, 2012 4:02pm EST by 5 Comments
Medicaid Dental Care

Can you believe more than 16 million children on Medicaid in the U.S. do not see a dentist? Not even for a routine check-up!

Low income families on Medicaid are taking a massive hit and their children are suffering from poor dental health.

According to a 2009 study by the Pew Center on the States, dentists are treating very young patients with teeth blackened from decay, bacteria and multiple cavities.

Ignoring teeth can mean life or death! An tooth infection can kill or promote heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Kids who do not receive dental care can suffer from root canals before the age of 10, ABC News reports.

There was an issue heard by Congress regarding children’s dental health back in 2007 when a 12-year-old boy, Deamonte Driver of Maryland, died due to a tooth infection. The infection spread to his brain because his mother couldn’t find a dentist that would take Medicaid.

“I see it in their eyes before they tell me it’s that way,” Dr. Gregory Folse told ABC News about his goal to assist in the dental crisis. “We are able to intervene and take the pain away from their teeth and it brings the spark back.”

The state of Florida suffers the worst, receiving an F in children’s dental health in a 2011 report from the Pew Center. In 2009, only 25.7 percent of kids in Florida on Medicaid went to the dentist!

“The Medicaid rates are so low that dentists are not willing to participate in the Medicaid program,” Dr. Frank Catalanotto of the University of Florida said. “You can’t blame the dentists, really, because the cost of delivering the service is more than the reimbursement they receive.”

HollyMoms, take this as a severe warning regardless of whether you’re on Medicaid — be sure to take your children to the dentist!

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Erin Drake

Posted at 10:24 AM on April 9, 2013  

I personally don’t think it is at all a shock. Frankly this is what we all get when we close our eyes to the real world around us. If people don’t know already that almost no dentists will accept medicaid then they ought to pay more attention to their country than they do their Ipods and iphones. Seriously the issue is Medicaid won’t pay a reasonable rate combined with dentists overcharging for services. In order to solve this issue we need to have a living wage so people can afford to take care of themselves and also demand that dentists and medicaid meet in the middle on prices and reimbursement rates for the millions of Americans stuck with Medicaid (no dental care). The fact the states cover kids on medicaid means absolutely nothing since dentists won’t accept it. The few who do are almost all crude, rude, predators who abuse their patients and do sub-par services.

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Posted at 7:23 PM on April 25, 2012  

i work for a dental office and you guys are right, to many kids are drinking sugary drinks and getting rampid decay…and medicaid pay scales absolutely sucks…most dentists don’t take it cause the pay is horrible, i worked for a medicaid office once and if u knew how bad it was u wouldn’t go, i quit after 2 weeks, they pack them in like sardines just to make some money and the dentistry isn’t good at all, but if u look u can find a place that will take it…but give kids milk and water and make sure they brush, we saw 3 kids today with terrible cavities…so brush!!

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Posted at 3:44 PM on April 25, 2012  

While parents are responsible for what their kids eat/drink, my kids have state medical insurance and it’s is near impossible to find a dentist that accepts that insurance. We ended up having to pay out of pocket for years until we found a decent dentist that accepted Medicaid. I think there should be incentive for them to accept more insurances.

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terry McLeod

Posted at 12:30 PM on April 25, 2012  

Don’t blame the dentists or Medicaid. Blame the parents for allowing children to drink pop and sugary drinks. This is not a monetary issue because water is free and won’t cause that tooth decay. Tooth decay like you showed doesn’t happen overnight and PARENTS are to BLAME

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Erin Drake

Posted at 10:20 AM on April 9, 2013  

I’m sorry Terry but before pop people had severe tooth decay so let’s stop blaming it all on parents. Honestly blame our creator who failed epicly at teeth and eyes. It’s the two things our body cannot fix itself. Yes many parents do need to stop letting kids constantly pig out on sweets but really none of that would really matter much if they made the kids brush teeth each night. Blaming it solely on parents is ridiculous though.

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