WE A NSWER:
According to a CBS News report entitled: "America's Dental Insurance Crisis ", over 30% of the American population do not have dental coverage. That means some 100 million of the country's population will have to fork out money to avail of dental treatments or will be forced to do without any dental treatments.
According to the report, this has resulted in the following problems:
- Unemployment. Since appearance is an important factor in getting a job, studies have shown that people with bad or problem teeth are finding it harder to get hire as compared to people with a "good" smile.
- Absenteeism in school. Since children are in pain due to tooth decay, they tend to miss school.
- Illnesses, and in some cases, death. Poor dental care leads to health problems that eventually caused the death of some patients.
This is believed to be due
to the fact that people who don't have dental insurance and can't afford to go to the dentist will be forced to do without any dental care. Even with organizations that aim to help eradicate the problem by providing free dental care, there are still a lot of Americans who have to do without dental care.
The health care reform bill is trying to address this situation by providing expanded eligibility to Medicare and to dental insurance, as well as providing training and education to produce more dentists and to improve the quality of care provided. For one, the pediatric dental benefit has expanded to include eligible children aged 21 years old and below. There are also information dissemination and education programs to increase awareness on the necessity of basic oral care (brushing your teeth, flossing, etc.). There are also programs that provide fluoride and dental sealant services.
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