Friday, April 27, 2012

Inside Maine's mouth - News Features

Maine is 80% fluoridated "Inside Maine's mouth" - News Features: In Maine, dental complaints were the number one reason for EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS among MaineCare patients and uninsured people between the ages of 15 and 44 in 2006, the most recent year for which comprehensive statistics are available.

Regardless of the reason, this is clear indicator that people aren't getting the dental care they need. According to "A Costly Dental Destination," a study released this February by the Pew Center on the States, "hospital treatment for dental problems is nearly 10 times more expensive than preventative care" (all those MaineCare visits cost more than $6.5 million) — not to mention the fact that ER treatment is just a Band-Aid.

"Patients are often treated in emergency rooms with painkillers and antibiotics, but the underlying root of the problem, sometimes serious dental disease, may not be treated," said MaineHealth executive vice president Frank McGinty in a Lewiston Sun Journal opinion column last month.