Lack of dental care driving ER visits

A lack of access to appropriate dental care is responsible for hundreds of thousands of patients showing up at emergency rooms seeking treatment. The number of dental problems that led to ER visits shot up 16 percent between 2006 and 2009, with some states, such as Florida, seeing more than 100,000 dental-related ER visits per year. In many instances, patients make return trips because they cannot easily access dentists, the Associated Press reported.

"Emergency rooms are really the canary in the coal mine. If people are showing up in the ER for dental care, then we've got big holes in the delivery of care," said Shelly Gehshan, director of the Pew Center's children's dental campaign. Article

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