In the report, AAPD noted that the treatment of severe tooth decay can cost $10,000 per child and up to $25,000 in severe cases, especially if the child needs to be hospitalized and treated under general anesthesia.
Even though more children are visiting the dentist than ever before, many children have difficulty accessing pediatric dental services, according to AAPD, which calls tooth decay a public health crisis that poses an immediate and long-term threat, not just to the teeth of young children, but to their overall health and development.
“Tooth decay is nearly 100% preventable,” said Dr. Joseph Castellano, president, AAPD. “Early dental visits, combined with good dental habits and dietary practices, can slow the decay process in children. In addition, a preventive approach to oral health makes dental care safer, more comfortable and even more affordable. It’s our hope that this report provides the basis for a meaningful discussion about the challenges facing the oral health of our children and what we can do about it.”
According to this latest report, the tooth decay epidemic can be at least partially remedied by earlier and regularly scheduled dental visits for more children, achieved through advocacy by pediatric dentists, collaboration with primary care medical providers, education for parents, and removal of such barriers as transportation and language that prevent patients from visiting a dentist. Continued reform and improvement of public insurance programs will protect dental visits by children most susceptible to dental disease. As a result of these efforts, more children can enjoy a lifetime of better oral health. AAPD issued its first “State of Little Teeth” report in 2014.
More info: www.aapd.org