Children Are Not Getting Proper Dental Care Due To The Pandemic

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Lack of dental care disproportionately affects children living in poverty.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – Research by the Tennessee Department of Health shows that between 2019 and 2020, 1 in 4 children missed dental appointments and 1 in 5 children had untreated tooth decay.

Dentists say preventative care begins at a young age. Tooth decay and cavities in children are more common than asthma, diabetes and obesity.

Remote Area Medical or RAM strives to provide free health and dental services to the public.

Clinic director Vicki Gregg said she saw an increase in the number of patients during the pandemic.

“People can’t afford the deductible or their copayments. So they come to the clinics to get their basic health care, ”said Gregg.

State health officials have noticed the decrease in dental appointments during the pandemic. The private insured population is back on track. Public policyholders remain below pre-pandemic levels.

The cost of a standard dental cleaning is between $ 75 and $ 200. The state says the lack of dental care has a disproportionate impact on children living in poverty.

Dental care is the number one service sought,” said Gregg.

The next scheduled RAM clinic is February 11, 2022 at the Jacob Building in Knoxville.

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