View Full Version : The Story In Our Smiles

07-20-17, 08:54 AM
Tom Ashbrook, host
June 15, 2017

American dental. The story our teeth tell about beauty, wealth, poverty and American healthcare.

The teeth in our mouths seem so simple and straightforward until they’re in trouble. Then we’re in trouble. Dental health is directly tied to overall health. And try finding a good job when you’re missing teeth or doing a good job when your head’s in pain. And yet, we treat dental care as kind of a luxury. Lots of insurance doesn’t cover it. A third of Americans can hardly get access to it. And our dentists like doing cosmetics. This hour On Point: the story our teeth tell about wealth, poverty, beauty and American health care.

Read more: http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2017/06/15/the-story-in-our-smiles

07-20-17, 08:55 AM
This program airs on National Public Radio. If your state hosts it, check listings for times. It's a full two hours but some stations subscribe to only the first hour.

Mr. Wizard
07-20-17, 10:10 PM
Growing up, we were too well off to qualify for Medicaid or public assistance, but too poor to afford the luxury of dental insurance. So, I grew up with poor dental care. As an adult, I've really paid the price...some $40,000 in dental work, making up for the care I didn't get as a kid. Yeah, those who have dental insurance or access to "quality" dental care really don't know how good they really have it. My children grew up with great dental care (braces and all), and they take it for granted, as do my grands.

07-21-17, 10:54 AM
I don't think dental insurance existed when I was a kid, but at any rate I got few cavities and good care. It wasn't until I was in grad school that my teeth became neglected — no parents to pay the bills and too much college debt for me to afford dental care. By the time my younger daughter started college I was faced with a large expense to arrest the deterioration but not correct it… Or a slightly larger amount to pull them all and fit me with dentures. It was the best decision I ever made. No further investment, no problems. (Actually, about 10 years later I did invest in a better and more natural looking set but again, not all that expensive).