American dentists are getting richer—but teeth are getting worse. A half century of improvement in dental health is being thrown into reverse because 100 million Americans have no dental insurance and can't afford care, reports the New York Times. It's far more than a cosmetic issue. Two children died this year from infections caused by decayed teeth.
Some 27% of children and 29% of adults have untreated cavities, according to the latest figures. Publicly supported dental clinics have months-long waiting lists. Some criticize dentists for being too concerned with profits. But dentists have their own costs to worry about and shouldn't be held responsible for health care, said one practitioner. "Charity is not a health care system,” he added.