Monday, December 17, 2012

Fluoride Not Stopping Seattle's Cavity Crisis

Dental Practice Management: "We see a steady stream of patients coming into the emergency department with dental problems, most of which are not true emergencies," Brian Livingston, MD, vice president of medical affairs for Swedish Medical Center's First Hill campus in [fluoridated] Seattle, told the WDSF. "We can try to alleviate the pain, but we aren't dentists. We can't address the underlying problem or provide the vital preventive care that would significantly decrease the number of emergency dental visits."

 Since the 2011 Medicaid cuts, "we have provided much more emergency care," added Sarah Vander Beek, DMD, who treats low-income patients at Neighborcare Health's Rainier Beach Medical and Dental Clinic in South Seattle. "Unfortunately, we are treating dental disease when it's more advanced, complex, and expensive. What could have been a filling is now an extraction."

 “One of the most common calls I get ... comes from seniors who say, ‘I can't get dentures. How am I supposed to eat?’ ”

— Dianne Baum, Washington State
     Health Care Authority