Tonight I had my first toothache. I am one of the lucky few to have a personal dentist who left home to meet me in his office on Friday night. He took care of the problem.
As an Emergency Physician, I saw many people at all hours of the day and night with severe oral pain. Until now I did not understand why they came to an ER at 3AM.
Many people do not have a dentist or dental insurance to cover preventive care. In 2000 the surgeon general, Dr. David Satcher issued a report on the oral health in America and called dental and oral health a silent epidemic. An NY Times article in 2005 states ” dental care for Americans has not imporved since the surgeon general’s report and there are many indications that it is getting worse.” In our clamor to insititute universal healthcare in the U.S. let’s not forget about oral health.