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The American Dental Crisis: Investigating Oral Health Care Disparities and Its Effects

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My passion on the importance of oral health began when I was four years old with the traumatic experience of witnessing my grandmother, my idol, with a toothless smile without

My passion on the importance of oral health began when I was four years old with the traumatic experience of witnessing my grandmother, my idol, with a toothless smile without her dentures in. At present, I have been a dental assistant for five years, and have heard of similar stories of people struggling with maintaining oral hygiene and having access to oral health care, including: family members, friends, patients, coworkers, and even Arizona State University faculty. Since the abolishment of emergency dental services in Arizona's Health Care Cost Containment System, dental related oral health care rates have jumped incrementally. In addition Arizona has created a dental desert, because dentists are not setting up their practices in the rural areas of the Valley, due to wanting to generate the most amount of income. Studies have also shown that dentists feel inept at treating ethnically diverse patients as well as patients from lower socioeconomic classes. These problems create a myriad of mental effects and physical ailments on the patient that are not limited to the oral cavity. In this paper, these issues in oral health care were studied along with their effects, including recommendations for resolutions.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05