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More US citizens than ever skipping dental visits

Fri

According to a new study performed by PBS Frontline and The Center for Public Integrity, one in three Americans are neglecting their dental care simply because they can’t afford the high price of treatments that the private system demands. The research centred on citizens of Florida and found that only around ten per cent of the state population, including children, were signed up to the dental care programme Medicaid.

Professor at the University of Florida’s College of Dentistry, Dr Frank Catalanotto, spoke to Frontline about the problems children in particular were having when attempting to access treatment; he estimates that around 1,200 minors a year have had to receive dental care whilst under general anaesthesia in hospital, because their families can’t afford the high insurance bills. There were similar findings with the adult population too; more and more people are turning to the emergency room for help, which not only offers fewer treatment options, it also costs around ten times more than preventative care would have in the first place.

In the sunshine state alone, there were more than 115,000 visits to the ER in 2010, for dental problems that could not be treated with specialist care beyond pain relief and antibiotics. Director of the children’s dental campaign at the Pew Center, Shelly Gehshan, said ‘If people are showing up in the ER for dental care, then we’ve got big holes in the delivery of care. It’s just like pouring money down a hole. It’s the wrong service, in the wrong setting, at the wrong time.’

Dr Who actress speaks about dental accident

Fri

Alex Kingston, star of such shows as Dr Who and ER, has revealed that she recently had a nasty fall that put her in hospital, as she bit through her bottom lip and knocked out her two front teeth. Speaking to Graham Norton on his BBC1 chat show, she mentioned that she had injured her head earlier in the day and was feeling dizzy, ‘I was jet-lagged, working with comedians and I walked into a lamppost, ‘she explained.

Displaying true English grit, the 48-year-old actress, who was born in Surrey, pulled herself together and got back to work, more concerned with her dented pride than anything else ‘It was a comedy moment,’ she admitted, ‘but I was so embarrassed because I thought I would be the butt of their jokes, so I pretended I was fine.’ However, later than night, the comedy turned to an emergency, when Alex started to feel woozy, then fell flat on her face, injuring her mouth and seriously damaging her teeth.

‘It was really awful, ‘Alex said, ‘I was doubly concussed and had to go straight to ER.’ Although she didn’t mention any subsequent dental treatment to fix her broken teeth, she seemed in good spirits and is set to appear on BBC period drama Upstairs Downstairs, as well as possibly reprising her role as River Sing in the next series of Dr Who, ‘You may see her again,’ she taunted fans of the show, adding ‘Let’s just say, Upstairs Downstairs and Doctor Who don’t film at the same time.’

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