Ellie, I just read a story about a 12 year old Maryland boy who died from an infected tooth....you should post about that.
What a tragedy. My heart goes out to that poor boy. Nobody should have to go without care for their teeth because they are a poor family. What a shame. Here's some snippets of the article below
For want of a dentist
Maryland boy, 12, dies after bacteria from tooth spread to his brain
Deamonte Driver, aged 12, is shown with his mother, Alyce, at Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C., after emergency brain surgery.
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By Mary Otto
Updated: 17 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday.
A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.
If his mother had been insured.
Story continues below ↓
If his family had not lost its Medicaid.
If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find.
If his mother hadn't been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.
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By the time Deamonte's own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George's County boy died.
Deamonte's death and the ultimate cost of his care, which could total more than $250,000, underscore an often-overlooked concern in the debate over universal health coverage: dental care.
Some poor children have no dental coverage at all. Others travel three hours to find a dentist willing to take Medicaid patients and accept the incumbent paperwork. And some, including Deamonte's brother, get in for a tooth cleaning but have trouble securing an oral surgeon to fix deeper problems.
In spite of efforts to change the system, fewer than one in three children in Maryland's Medicaid program received any dental service at all in 2005, the latest year for which figures are available from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
You know, I think it is a shame that there dental wasn't covered. Even if it was, I am curious as to how much Medicaide does cover. I know that I get $1000 a year with the dental plan we have. Dental really is for most people an out of pocket expense. To deny children any kind of coverage is ridiculous. Especially since children cannot fend for themselves. I am furthermore curious as to why this mother has all her children's teeth rotting out. Do they not brush their teeth. I know that brushing and flossing can't prevent everything, but 6 rotting teeth on the other child? I wonder how much the mother fought for her coverage as well. It is a shame that in the US, it is the in your face tactics that win more than anything.
I feel for the mother and I certainly think that her situation needs to be reviewed, however I don't think that the entire blame can be placed on the healthcare and dental care system. I certainly hope that her other son gets the dental work he needs. I couldn't imagine losing a child like that.