It is difficult enough to remember to schedule a dentist appointment when insurance is covering the cost. It is harder still for many American’s to justify a regular teeth cleaning and examination when bills are piling up. Diseases in the mouth and gums often grow slowly and quietly, and patients might not even know they are suffering. As a result, it can become all too easy to cut dentist visits out of the budget. However, those diseases are still there, and it is only with the help of a dentist that they can be identified and treated before causing serious problems.
Dr. Gary Painter, owner of Tooth Acres Dentistry in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is doing his part to remove the financial barrier from the equation. According to Painter, 57 percent of American’s under the age of 65 do not have dental insurance. Furthermore, while 83 percent of children visit the dentist at least once a year, after the age of 18 that number drops by 20 percent according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC also reports that nearly a third of all Americans between the ages of 20 and 44 also have untreated dental problems.
To help deal with this, Dr. Painter and his practice sponsored Dentistry From the Heart. Now in its second year, the event is open to anyone without dental insurance. Free Dental Care will be offered to anyone in need. The idea is not only to treat one-time problems, but also to encourage patients to think more seriously about their oral health and hygiene.
Gum disease is the second most common disease in the world after the common cold according to the CDC. Leaving it untreated can lead to serious complications, and with a third of all young American’s quietly suffering, it cannot be ignored. Dentistry From the Heart is already making an impact in the Fort Wayne Community. Hopefully, other dentists will follow Dr. Painter’s example and do what they can to knock down walls between their patients and the quality care they need.