2010 July 07 Wednesday
Quarter Of California Children Never Saw Dentist
Here in the Third World dental care is becoming more rare.
Lack of dental care continues to be a significant problem for American children, who miss about 1.6 million school days each year due to dental disease.
A new study published in the July issue of the journal Health Affairs reveals that in California, nearly 25 percent of children have never seen a dentist and that disparities exist across race, ethnicity and type of insurance when it comes to the duration between dental care visits.
The study, "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Dental Care for Publicly Insured Children," examines barriers to dental care among California children age 11 and under, using data from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey. The study contains data on nearly 11,000 children.
Imagine what it'll be like when all the whites have left the state.
Even getting them dental insurance isn't enough to get those kids into a dentist's chair. What to do?
Researchers Nadereh Pourat, of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and Len Finocchio, of the California HealthCare Foundation, found that Latino and African American children with all types of insurance were less likely than Asian American and white children to have visited the dentist in the previous six months — or even in their entire lifetime.
Similarly, researchers found that Latino and African American children in public insurance programs, including Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), went to the dentist less often than white and Asian American children with the same insurance coverage. Overall, children with private insurance saw a dentist more often than those with Medicaid or CHIP.
"The findings suggest that having insurance isn't always enough," said Pourat, Ph.D., director of research planning at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. "We need to address the other barriers that keep children from getting the help they need."
What could be causing result? Who would have predicted it? (outside of the reality-bound HBD community I mean)
In England we used to have a 'school-dentist' who examined the teeth of every student at bi-annually, and if decay was found he'd make a free appointment with a local dentist.
From the study you cite:
The authors note the findings raise concerns about Medicaid's ability to address disparities in dental care access. Ultimately, they observe, more strategic efforts are necessary to overcome systemic barriers to care, including raising reimbursement rates paid to dentists who serve the Medicaid population and increasing the number of participating Medicaid providers.
From the Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) website:
Effective for dates of service on or after March 1, 2009, Medi-Cal payments to providers (unless exempted) will be subject to a 1% or 5% reduction, based on provider type.
There's a certain irony here, Americans used to be regarded as having great teeth while the Brits had bad teeth (possible because of drinking lots of tea) Is good teeth in the U.S. now just an elite SWPL thing?
...Latino and African American children with all types of insurance were less likely than Asian American and white children to have visited the dentist in the previous six months — or even in their entire lifetime.
"We need to address the other barriers that keep children from getting the help they need."
Or, we could just make their execrable dentition the object of sneering and jokes, like we do with trashy whites. Anybody ever spot a NAM equivalent of Cletus and his kin?
But seriously, your sub-head says it all. Nothing says Third World like low standards of dental care.
haha. that is sad but somewhat true Rohan Swee "nothing says third world like low standards of dental care". My friend just visited a third world country and he helped out with some doctors and the stories he told me were ridiculous.
In the united states the rate of dentistry work is declining. It must have something to do with the economy
Are Hispanics and African-Americans just not as familiar with the advantages and opportunities that come from dental care? Maybe they are not well-enough informed of its importance especially with the American diet these days.