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12 A Charge to Improve Children's Access to Oral Health Services
Pages 103-106

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From page 103...
... House of Representatives "Our children are the living messages that we send to a future we will never see." Improving access to oral health care services is a critical matter. Two years ago, in the state of Maryland, a 12-year-old boy named Deamonte Driver died from an untreated tooth infection that spread to his brain, an infection that could have been treated for about $80.
From page 104...
... into law. The legislation includes several critical provisions to improving children's access to dental services. Specifically, the law guarantees a dental benefit for children that includes preventive, restorative, and emergency dental services; provides dental health education for the parents of newborns; allows community health centers to contract with private dentists for the purpose of providing dental services to these patients; improves access to dental provider information through the Insure Kids Now website and hotline; requires that the Government Accountability Office conduct a study assessing children's access to dental services within 18 months of the bill's enactment; and directs the secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a core set of child health quality measures for assessing states' Medicaid and CHIP programs, including measures for the availability of dental services and the quality of pediatric dental care.
From page 105...
... The American Dental Association has ­ facilitated the opening of new schools of dentistry and provides loan forgiveness to steer graduating dentists into working in underserved communities; the National Dental Association has historically provided safety nets to under­served populations; the Children's Dental Health Project is the only group advocating exclusively for children's oral health; and the American Academy of ­ Pediatric Dentistry formed a groundbreaking alliance last year with the national office of Head Start to ensure that young children in need are connected with dentists who can treat them. Even with all this effort, a coverage gap still exists that needs to be filled by other types of professionals.

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