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HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker and By Andrea K. Walker | February 18, 2014
The number of children in Maryland with untreated tooth decay dropped 41 percent from 2001 to 2011, according to a new state report. The assessment of children in kindergarten and third grade  was conducted by the University of Maryland School of Dentistry on behalf of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Oral Health. The overall oral health status of Maryland children improved over the last decade, the report found. Researchers said the improvement came after reforms adopted when a 12-year-old from Prince George's County child died because of a preventable tooth infection.
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NEWS
By Elijah E. Cummings and Norman Tinanoff | March 5, 2014
12-year-old Deamonte Driver of Prince George's County came home from school in February 2007 with a headache, which had started as a toothache days before. His mother, who made ends meet with low paying jobs, searched for a dentist who would accept Medicaid and found nothing. At wits end, she brought her son to the emergency room, where he received medication for pain, a sinus infection and a dental abscess. But Deamonte did not get better. The bacteria from his cavity spread to his brain.
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FEATURES
By Kim Fernandez, For The Baltimore Sun | January 28, 2013
Question: I learned the hard way that I should care for/brush my cat's teeth when my rescued cat needed to be sedated and have her teeth cleaned (which was very expensive) because the tartar was so bad. She is not a good patient. What should I do for her teeth and how often? Answer: Dental disease is very common, with the majority of cats being affected by age 3. It causes significant discomfort, difficulty eating and ultimately results in the loss of teeth. Tooth brushing is considered the best method of home dental care and ideally is performed daily.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker and By Andrea K. Walker | February 18, 2014
The number of children in Maryland with untreated tooth decay dropped 41 percent from 2001 to 2011, according to a new state report. The assessment of children in kindergarten and third grade  was conducted by the University of Maryland School of Dentistry on behalf of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Oral Health. The overall oral health status of Maryland children improved over the last decade, the report found. Researchers said the improvement came after reforms adopted when a 12-year-old from Prince George's County child died because of a preventable tooth infection.
NEWS
June 23, 2012
Dan Rodricks is right to call attention to our nation's dental care crisis, as are Rep. Elijah Cummings and Sen. Bernie Sanders for trying to make dental care more accessible ("Wall Street pays, the nation smiles," June 17). According to the Institute of Medicine, our dental care system is failing a third of our population - more than 100 million children and adults. The problem is long-standing: A landmark 2000 report from the U.S. Surgeon General's Office declared oral disease a "silent epidemic.
NEWS
June 25, 2012
I'd like to thank Dan Rodricks for his recent column highlighting the issue of our nation's dental crisis ("Making Wall Street pay and the nation smile," June 16). As a dentist who treats mainly Medicaid children and adults, I'm all too familiar with the troubling statistics outlined in Mr. Rodricks' column. Low-income families face tremendous obstacles in accessing the most basic and routine dental care because the majority of dentists refuse to treat them. Both as a dentist and a mother, it breaks my heart when children arrive at my practice suffering from the pain (and low self esteem)
EXPLORE
October 19, 2011
We all hear that prevention is the key to wellness. However, people with certain insurances and public assistance such as Medical Assistance lack the basic preventative care that they need. I have not seen a dentist in about 18 years simply because dentists in the area will not accept patients who have insurances with Medical Assistance. People like me cannot pay out of pocket for one reason or another. Furthermore, people like me are on Medical Assistance for a reason, such as disability.
NEWS
By Joshua M. Sharfstein | June 2, 2011
Four years ago, a 12-year-old boy from Prince George's County named Deamonte Driver died from complications of an untreated dental infection. Lacking access to routine dental care that could have prevented the problem, and to basic treatment that could have contained it, Deamonte finally came to medical attention after the infection had spread to his brain. Deamonte's death was a shocking call to action. Elected officials, led by Congressman Elijah Cummings, called Deamonte's death a moral failure as well as a policy failure.
NEWS
March 29, 2013
We want to thank reporter John Fritze for his article laying out the issue of out-of-pocket costs for child dental care insurance through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange ("Advocates, insurers duel over cost of child dental coverage," March 21). The new rules by the Obama administration perhaps unintentionally eliminate the general principle of the Affordable Care Act that dental care is an essential health benefit for children. The new rule will permit pediatric dental insurance plans to charge a maximum of $1,000 per child in out-of-pocket costs and up to $2,000 for a family.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | July 4, 2011
Kenneth Mumford smiled into the mirror and saw a full set of pearly white teeth for the first time in years. He was sitting in a chair at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, where he was being fitted for free dentures last month. The 59-year-old Air Force veteran got his full set of teeth courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs, which has been stepping up a dental care program for homeless vets. The idea, VA officials say, is to alleviate pain, improve health and boost self-esteem.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn | January 16, 2014
Those who have dental insurance don't always use it to get care, according to a new study from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry . The researchers found that education is needed before people value their dental health, which can impact their overall health. “You can't just hand people coverage and say, 'there, that's better,'” said Richard J. Manski, professor and chief of Dental Public Health at the dental school. “You need to offer some inducements, some promotional campaign to change people's attitudes and beliefs.
HEALTH
By Sarah Hainesworth, The Baltimore Sun | December 27, 2013
When his private dentist passed away, Henry Yeakel quickly searched for a new dental home. While some might have thumbed through a phone book to find the closest provider, Yeakel didn't have that luxury. He needed a dentist who could cater to his unique dental needs. "My teeth were brittle and breaking and falling apart," said Yeakel, who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1997. "I guess all the medication I was on probably destroyed my teeth. " It used to take Yeakel more than 30 minutes to complete his daily regimen of medication, which consisted of 32 pills twice a day. Yeakel's search for a new dentist led him to the Plus clinic at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.
NEWS
By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun | September 19, 2013
Robert Taylor says problems with alcohol cost him his job as a city laborer four years ago. He quit drinking, but without a permanent source of income or place to stay, it's been difficult for him to get back on his feet. He's held a few odd jobs, but without a car, the 52-year-old Taylor says he's struggled to navigate the red tape associated with housing and job assistance, which advocates say is a common problem for people in troubled financial circumstances. "I'm just trying to do the right things," he said.
NEWS
March 30, 2013
Thank you for placing John Fritze's article on children's dental insurance on your front page ("Concerns rise over cost of child dental insurance," March 22). I applaud U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin and his continued focus on the importance of oral health care access for our children. As reported by the Surgeon General 13 years ago, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Nearly 80 percent of the disease is borne by about 25 percent of our population. These are the children who need the essential health benefits the most, and they are the ones most likely to be vulnerable to delays in enrollment and inability to utilize dental services if their parents cannot afford to pay for coverage.
NEWS
March 29, 2013
We want to thank reporter John Fritze for his article laying out the issue of out-of-pocket costs for child dental care insurance through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange ("Advocates, insurers duel over cost of child dental coverage," March 21). The new rules by the Obama administration perhaps unintentionally eliminate the general principle of the Affordable Care Act that dental care is an essential health benefit for children. The new rule will permit pediatric dental insurance plans to charge a maximum of $1,000 per child in out-of-pocket costs and up to $2,000 for a family.
HEALTH
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2013
Like most 3-year-olds, Mariah Venable is a climber and a jumper. And sometimes she lands on her face instead of her legs. Her acrobatic attempts have cost her two baby teeth already - and have left her mother thankful she has good dental insurance. "You have to start on their teeth early so they don't have issues when they get older," said Cheryl Venable, who recently took her daughter - smiling wide through the gaps - to a city clinic that offers dental care to low-income and uninsured families.
HEALTH
By Sarah Hainesworth, The Baltimore Sun | December 27, 2013
When his private dentist passed away, Henry Yeakel quickly searched for a new dental home. While some might have thumbed through a phone book to find the closest provider, Yeakel didn't have that luxury. He needed a dentist who could cater to his unique dental needs. "My teeth were brittle and breaking and falling apart," said Yeakel, who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1997. "I guess all the medication I was on probably destroyed my teeth. " It used to take Yeakel more than 30 minutes to complete his daily regimen of medication, which consisted of 32 pills twice a day. Yeakel's search for a new dentist led him to the Plus clinic at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.
NEWS
By Douglas Miles, Jane Sundius and David Hornbeck | March 14, 2013
To be strong, healthy and safe, Baltimore needs leaders who maintain their priorities in challenging circumstances. Last year, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake increased funding for coordinated Out-of-School-Time (OST) programming, which uses public schools as a hub to create "Community Schools" that offer a comprehensive range of services and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. That was a good first step. As members of the Family League of Baltimore's Community and School Engagement Steering Committee, we now call on the mayor to show leadership by following through on her public commitment to double the funding for an OST and community school strategy, to $10 million.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | January 30, 2013
Gov. Martin O'Malley urged the General Assembly on Wednesday to approve an unabashedly liberal agenda that includes repeal of the state's death penalty, new curbs on guns and spending for construction projects that create jobs. Asking Maryland lawmakers to make what he called “better choices,” the governor also prodded them to raise new revenue to relieve traffic congestion and to pass his twice-rejected legislation to foster a new industry harnessing the power of offshore wind.
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