Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dentists: Reduced Medicaid payments threatening practices - Salt Lake Tribune

Dentists: Reduced Medicaid payments threatening practices - Salt Lake Tribune:

Salt Lake City (Utah) is fluoridated:

"The toll on children

On Wednesday, Horgesheimer said, he saw several children under the age of four who had more than 10 cavities. Not old enough, or cooperative enough, to be treated in a chair, they'll have to be sedated in an operating room, where he'll perform their extractions, fillings, root canals or crowns.

One lethargic 7-year-old girl on Medicaid showed up at his office that same day with a gnawing pain and fever. A serious tooth infection had spread to her cheek and was starting to cause her eyelid to close.

'Had I not taken out that tooth today,' the dentist said, 'she would have been up at the hospital seeking treatment from the ER.'

Horgesheimer wishes this child were a rarity. She's not.

An attending dentist at Primary Children's Medical Center, Horgesheimer said 20 to 30 children come in every week with serious, yet preventable, dental infections. What could have been avoided with good oral hygiene, routine check-ups and timely care is instead treated with intravenous antibiotics at many times more the cost."