Dental care seems to be experiencing the same cost increases that medical care is. Which may be why one in four children and adults – who aren’t necessarily low-income – have untreated cavities. At least twice in 2007, a child died from an infection caused by decayed teeth.
Unlike medical doctors, however, dentists’ salaries are actually rising, in part because their numbers aren’t increasing while the nation’s population is. Limited supply leads to high demand leads to the ability of dentists to charge higher prices, which they’re doing.
As a whole, the nation’s dental health is declining for the first time in decades. But just as historically the main lobbying group for doctors, the American Medical Association, fought health care reform that they feared would impact their bottom line, now dentist associations are fighting the reform that might make dental care cheaper and more accessible.
- State and federal dentist lobbying groups have opposed efforts to use dental hygienists and other non-dentists to provide basic care to those without access to dentists.
- These same groups have fought opening new dental schools and other ways of increasing the number of dentists.
To see what they are supporting go here:
BOOM TIMES FOR DENTISTS, BUT NOT FOR TEETH
by Alex Berenson
The New York Times
October 11, 2007