Thursday, February 03, 2005

Yahoo! News - Investigation: Rotten Teeth, Rotten Politics?

Miami-Dade County, Florida is fluoridated

"Local 10's Jilda Unruh even talked to a mother who said she had to pull her own child's tooth because she couldn't find a dentist to do it.

Video shows rotted teeth, an abscessed tooth, a cavity untreated for two months, swollen gums and an infection in the bone, all in the mouth of 7-year-old Jamya Holt.

"When I eat, it hurts," Jamya said.

"Dr. Luisa Utset-Ward, a leading critic of this experiment with privatized dental care for Medicaid children, showed Local 10 pictures of a child's cavity that had gone into an open nerve. She says the child had been in pain for nine days, unable to get in to see an ADI dentist.

"I had to do a little root canal on his primary molar because it was decayed so bad," Utset-Ward said. "And there's absolutely no reason whatsoever why somebody couldn't have gotten that child out of pain. Intolerable."

In 2003, in Miami-Dade County, the state paid $14.9 million in pediatric dental Medicaid claims. However, ADI's contract is worth around $18 million a year.

Last July, one of Palmer's sons had an abscessed tooth ... "'His gum was protruding and bleeding," she said. "I couldn't find one provider in that book that would make an appointment with me ? ...'Palmer got antibiotics for her son from a medical doctor, and then got out the pliers."

"Finally I had to pull it myself," Palmer said.