Pew gives Ky. a “C” for looking after dental health of children

Kentucky received a “C” grade from the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign for meeting the dental health needs of children, the same grade it was given last year.

The Courier-Journal reports the state met or exceeded four of eight benchmarks: The majority of Kentuckians (99.4 percent) have fluoridated community water supplies; the state pays medical providers for early preventive dental health care; the state tracks data on children’s dental health; and the percentage of Medicaid-enrolled children getting dental care (40.8 percent) exceeds the national standard of 38.1 percent.
The state fell short of Pew’s standards when it came to offering sealant programs at high-risk schools; allowing hygienists to place sealants without a dentist’s prior exam; and authorizing new primary-care dental providers. Kentucky also lost points because the rates it pays to dentists for providing Medicaid services is below the norm — only 52 percent, compared to the national average of 60.5 percent.
None of the 50 states assessed in the report met all eight benchmarks. Seven states received an A and 20 states received a B. “An A does not stand for ‘all done,'” said Shelly Gehshan, director of the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign. “It means a state has the key ingredients in place, but it still needs to monitor progress and explore new ways to improve children’s access to dental health.” Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Montana and New Jersey received an F.
More than 20 states improved their grades over 2010. “These gains were achieved primarily by adopting policies to reimburse physicians for preventive dental services, expanding water fluoridation and increasing the percentage of Medicaid-enrolled children who receive care,” the report reads. (Read more)
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One Reply to “Pew gives Ky. a “C” for looking after dental health of children”

  1. nyscof

    Until every child consumes a perfect diet, they will need to have cavities filled and decay removed. Most of the PEW benchmarks have no correlation to less tooth decay. Most dentists refuse to treat poor people. To fix this problem many states are allowing Dental Therapists to fill the dentist void. That's if organized dentistry doesn't wield it's power and money to lobby against them to protect their lucrative monopoly instead of children. Six million children on Medicaid are suffering with UNtreated tooth decay. Several children have died and our emergency rooms are flooded with people suffering with extensive infections that started out as a simple cavity.

    DTs have worked for decades in other developed countries. Alaska and Minnesota allows them. Other states are following suit. DTs need only 2 years training, should work in dentist-deficient areas and be able to afford to take Medicaid patients because they won't have huge dental school tuition bills to pay. Studies show their work to be as good as dentists.

    Let's face it, dentists are really only tooth mechanics. They have shown their lack of medical training by pushing fluoride into and on us every way they can when science is telling them that they are over-dosing us and sickening us – but that doesn't seem to stop them. Let’s take the drills out of their hands exclusively and put it into the hands of DTs. Many dentists have turned their practices into spas anyway, catering to those with money while ignoring those with the greatest need for real dental care.

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