More People Going to ER for ... Toothaches
Possibly because states are cutting Medicaid benefits: NPR
By Dustin Lushing, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2012 5:41 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – More and more people are showing up to the emergency room to deal with teeth problems. According to a new report, more than 800,000 people in 2009 alone bolted straight to the ER with dental troubles such as toothaches that could have been avoided with proper care. Part of the problem may stem from states cutting Medicaid dental benefits, forcing low-income people to forego dentists, reports NPR. It's a bad cycle, given that ERs can provide quick fixes but not the kind of comprehensive care that prevents problems in the first place.

"People showing up at emergency rooms for dental is really your sign that your system is breaking down," says the director of the Pew Center's Children's Dental Campaign. "It's just not serving enough people. This is your symptom of a system in crisis." The report lists several strategies for fixing the problem, including raising the reimbursement rates for low-income patients and hiring more "dental therapists," the equivalent of nurse practitioners. The American Dental Association opposes the latter idea.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
More People Going to ER for ... Toothaches is...
11%
4%
2%
73%
2%
8%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 18 comments
crafter67
Mar 1, 2012 1:52 AM CST
it also doesn't help that most dental insurance is crap and only pays about 1/2 of what dentists charge...
Colonel_Sanders
Feb 29, 2012 9:23 PM CST
Part of the problem may stem from states cutting Medicaid dental benefits, forcing low-income people to forego dentists, reports NPR. This is a consequence of illegal immigration. Go to any ER and more than likely it is flooded with illegal Mexicans. Obongo is trying to cut a deal. He makes promises of citizenship to criminals in exchange for political loyalty. We (American citizens) have to pay for it all. This 'president' fails to be a statesman and allows the third worldization of America to continue............... Way to go Obongo, take another vacation.
ProbolyKnot
Feb 29, 2012 7:09 PM CST
"People showing up at emergency rooms for dental is really your sign that your system is breaking down," Wait a minute... I thought the republicans were telling me the US medical system was the best in the world and Obamacare was totally unnecessary.