"TALLAHASSEE (AP) -- If a poor child in the capital city needs serious dental work, his family will probably have to drive several hours. Even in this city of more than 150,000 people, there aren't any pediatric dentistry specialists who participate in the state Medicaid program for the poor."
Statewide, there is one dentist for every 10,000 Medicaid-eligible children.
In some cases, not getting care can be very serious. Last year, Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old boy in Maryland whose family's Medicaid coverage had lapsed, died after bacteria from an untreated tooth abscess spread to his brain. A routine tooth extraction may have saved him -- but he couldn't get in quickly enough to see a Medicaid oral surgeon.