June 25, 2014 was an exciting day for me: I was honored to get to serve my community members who had great need for oral health and could not afford it. As early as April 1, 2014, I made the following announcement on my Facebook:
“My dental office will see, free of charge, as many patients as possible starting at 9 a.m. on June 25. The event operates on a first come, first serve basis for oral cancer screenings, and a choice of an extraction, filling or cleaning. Please come to our dental office, located on 1548East St., across from Shasta Regional Hospital on June 25. Please share this to help someone who needs dental care and cannot afford it.”
On our second Free Dental Day there was huge line of more than thirty people waiting since 4:00 AM.
On the morning of June 25, at 9:00 AM my staff and I went out to greet people waiting in line. There was huge line of more than thirty people waiting. Some said they were in line since 4:00AM. My office parking lots, as well as parking lot next door, were fully
On our second Free Dental Day there was huge line of more than thirty people waiting since 4:00 AM.
On the morning of June 25, at 9:00 AM my staff and I went out to greet people waiting in line. There was huge line of more than thirty people waiting. Some said they were in line since 4:00AM. My office parking lots, as well as parking lot next door, were fully packed.
I had hired extra help to be able to serve as many people as possible. Throughout the day, my staff and I were all running. We were trying to accommodate all the people who had waited patiently, some over 12 hours. There were young, old, teenagers, and children among them. They were badly in need of dental care, which was overdue for years.
Many people were badly in need of dental care, which was overdue for years.
You could not believe how many times my staff and I cried for the pain and suffering they had gone through. I was overwhelmed and embarrassed with their expression of gratitude.
We gave away $11,000 worth of free dental services.
Some people die from dental disease
Many people suffer greatly, as the result of unaffordable Healthcare costs.
According to Harvard Gazette, one person dies every 12 minutes (45,000 deaths annually) from un-affordable Healthcare costs. Healthcare is a huge topic – let’s just consider Dental care.
People don’t realize that dental disease can cause serious illness. The problems are not just cosmetic. Many people die from dental disease.
According to NBC affiliate WLWT, a 24 year old man, Kyle Willis, died because of his infected tooth. Kyle’s tooth started hurting two weeks before his death. When he went to dentist, dentists told him his tooth needed to be pulled; he decided to forgo the procedure, because he was unemployed and had no insurance. When his face started swelling and his head began to ache, Willis went to the emergency room, where he received prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medications. Willis couldn’t afford both, so he chose the pain medications. The tooth infection spread, causing his brain to swell. He died as a result.
Between 30 and 50 percent of the population have the most serious dental disease
When people are unemployed or don’t have insurance, where do they go? What do they do? People end up dying from the most treatable diseases in the world.
According to PBS: “More than 100 million Americans don’t go to the dentist because they can’t afford it. Many end up in severe pain and sometimes they even die!”
According to Dr. Tom McGuire , Dental disease is an epidemic. Ninety percent of the population suffers from some form of this disease. Between 30 and 50 percent of the population have the most serious forms of dental
People want to believe there’s a safety net that catches all of these people, and there isn’t.
More than 2.1 million people, with tooth aches go to emergency rooms
Emergency room visits for dental health have doubled from about a decade ago. Nationally, more than 2.1 million people, the vast majority of them adults, showed up in emergency rooms with dental pain in 2010 — that’s double the number from just a decade prior. The majority of dental emergency room visits, nearly 80 percent, were for preventable conditions such as abscesses and cavities.
All too often emergency departments become the go-to place for treatment even though many visits could be prevented with the right outpatient care at the right time,” said Joan Randell, deputy director of The Nicholson Foundation. “We hope that hospital systems and policymakers consider implementing the recommendations to strengthen the community-based dental safety net.”
Many ER dental visits involve the same patients seeking additional care. In Minnesota, nearly 20 percent of all dental-related ER visits are return trips, the report said. That’s because emergency rooms generally are not staffed by dentists. Doctors might offer pain relief and medicine for infected gums, but not much more for dental patients. And many patients are unable to find or afford follow-up treatment, so they end up back in the emergency room.
I think emergency departments should have a dental chair and a dentist on call.
Thousands of dentists across the country and I see patients who are struggling financially and have put off regular dental care. The result is that people are living with infection and pain, and it’s impacting their health and quality of life.
A Report of the Surgeon General indicates that people with low income and racial and ethnic minorities are particularly vulnerable.
Less than 1% of dental services are covered by Medicare
Neither Medicare nor the Affordable Care Act includes adult dental coverage, although some pediatric dental care is covered. Even the Medigap insurance that adults buy to expand their plans’ benefits still won’t cover dental procedures. Less than 1% of dental services are covered by Medicare.
Education is Key
Your teeth can last a lifetime if you practice basic dental care, which involves brushing and flossing regularly, eating a mouth-healthy diet, and visiting your dentist and/or dental hygienist for regular checkups and cleanings.
The problem is that most of us are not familiar with ‘mouth-healthy diet”
Changes begin in your mouth the minute you start to eat certain foods. After eating sugar-containing foods, carbohydrates, along with bacteria in your mouth, you begin to make acids. When you eat ferment-able carbohydrates – foods containing sugar — the bacteria in your mouth use the sugar for fuel and produce acids as a waste product. Acidic media in your mouth can dissolve enamel in less than five minutes. Regular acid assaults on enamel can wear holes in teeth, commonly called
Eating foods containing sugar help fast multiplication of bacteria
In addition to cavity formation, eating foods containing sugar help fast multiplication of bacteria which use carbohydrate as fuel. These bacteria then colonize and attach themselves to the tooth’s smooth surface. This results to dental plaque formation. Dental plaque is a biofilm, usually a pale yellow filmthat develops on the teeth.
Dental plaque results to Calculus formation
Continual accumulation of minerals from saliva on plaque, results in calculus or tartar formation which is a form of hardened plaque. Levels of calculus and location of formation varies from one person to another, and are affected by oral hygiene habits, access to professional care, diet, age, ethnic origin, time since last dental cleaning, systemic disease, and the use of prescription medications.
Calculus formations results in periodontal diseases
A build-up of plaque and calculus can lead to inflamed and infected gums. Mild gum disease is called gingivitis and is not usually serious; however this condition is a predisposition to the start of periodontitis. More severe gum disease, called periodontitis, can lead to teeth falling out. This condition, simply put, is the loss of tooth supporting structures, (bone and gum support).
Periodontal diseases can result to heart attack and stroke
Because periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, periodontal bacteria can enter the blood stream and travel to major organs and begin new infections. Both the heart and the brain are some of the most susceptible organs.
“A lot of studies suggest that oral health, and gum disease in particular, are related to serious conditions like heart disease,” says periodontist Sally Cram, DDS, a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association.
According to the Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease (also called heart disease). And one study found that the presence of common problems in the mouth, including gum disease (gingivitis), cavities, and missing teeth, were as good at predicting heart disease as cholesterol levels . Periodontal disease has also been linked to stroke. Latest studies showed possible link between Alzheimer disease and periodontal disease.
If you like to keep good oral health do the followings:
1) Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day regularly.
2) See your dentist every six months for dental hygiene and checkup.
3) Eatmouth-healthy Food. Avoid sugary, starchy food and alcoholic drinks. These create a favorable environment for oral bacterial growth. They also have a drying effect, which reduces saliva flow and allows foul-smelling bacteria to linger longer.
4) If you have to eat sugary food, coffee, starchy food, and alcoholic drinks make sure to rinse your mouth with a mouth wash or water immediately after. There is a product on the market that targets only the bad bacteria in the mouth. It’s called EvoraPlus and it works great.
There is a definite need to give assistance to those less fortunate. We look forward to another successful event next time and will keep the public up to date with what is to come in the future.
In dentistry experience and Continuing Education are everything. Dr. Parvin Carter has over 30 years of experience in practicing General Dentistry and 25 years in Orthodontics. She has thousands of hours of advanced training. In 2000, Academy of General Dentistry awarded Dr. Carter a Certificate of Mastership (MAGD) in General Dentistry. According to the Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, only 1% of US dentists achieve this high level of advancement. Dr. Carter is a Certified and Preferred Provider of Invisalign. She has successfully treated over 500 patients with Invisalign. For more information please visit www.drparvincarer.com
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