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January 24, 2012

Dental Care Refusal for Adults

A large number of dentists don’t want to treat adults with physical/mental challenges.    Experts state this has become a “national crisis.”   The reasons adults aren’t getting care are because of money and education.

Medicaid has very low compensation rates for dentists.  Some states don’t offer Medicaid coverage for dental health.  These factors are causing dentists to turn away people with physical/mental challenges.

 "It's the biggest health care problem in the country today," said Dr. Steven Perlman, professor of pediatric dentistry at Boston University School of Dental Medicine. "People with intellectual disabilities are the most medically underserved population we have, and dental care is by far the most unmet need."

Dentists can also be unsure as how to treat someone with a physical/mental challenge.  Training in regards to how to assist someone with a mental challenge isn’t offered in dental school.  If a problem like a toothache isn’t fixed properly, it can lead to serious discomfort for a person with a physical/mental challenge.

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