A handful of states are making dentists a lower priority than other health professionals for inoculations, even though they have their hands in people’s mouths and are exposed to aerosols that spray germs in their faces.
Teledentistry allows dentists to remotely review records and diagnose patients’ teeth over video. Some smile about its promise, while others see the potential for cutting corners. And it faces hurdles to widespread adoption.
A new treatment for tooth decay is cheaper, quicker and less painful than getting a filling. Originally touted as a solution for kids, silver diamine fluoride is poised to become a game changer for treating cavities in older adults or those with disabilities that make oral care difficult.
KHN senior correspondent Jordan Rau takes a spin through this week’s essential health care news.
A growing number of dental offices across the country are now charging patients an “infection control fee” of $10 to $20 to pay for masks, face shields, gowns and air purifiers to help keep the offices free of the coronavirus.
Most states ordered dental offices to close except for emergency patient care when the coronavirus hit the U.S. But the shutdown drilled deep into dentists’ finances, and they have been eager to reopen as states have relaxed their closures.
One woman’s experience with the high cost of dental care and confusing Medicare coverage offers a teachable moment for other consumers. Her small church took up a collection, but the surprise bill — four times what she expected to pay — was sent to collections.
A number of radiology organizations are trying to end the decades-old practice of shielding patients from radiation with lead aprons. They say it provides no benefit and might even inadvertently expose people to higher radiation levels. But the policy about-face is moving slowly.
Dentistry in the U.S. can get expensive, even with good insurance. So more people are taking a trip to beautiful Costa Rica to cut the dentistry bill — and perhaps get a tan.
Lack of access means that people with physical and cognitive disabilities have a heavier burden of dental disease.