Hospital emergency rooms across the United States are seeing twice as many patients with dental pain as they were in 2000, according to a recent statement from the ADA.
One hospital in Maine, Waldo County General Hospital, was seeing a number of patients returning with the same issue time after time. As a result, the Belfast, Maine-based hospital opened a dental clinic.
The clinic helps the hospital by alleviating the extra staffing hours needed to treat dental emergencies, and helps patients get the comprehensive care they need.
At this time, the clinic will treat low-income adults who have not been to the dentist in at least one year. The clinic is staffed by five local dentists, and no one is turned away for an inability to pay.
The ADA also stated that in an independent 2009 study by the National Emergency Department Sample, more than 40% of all ER visits for dental conditions were the result of cavities, the most common dental disease, and one that can be easily prevented.
Hospital officials say that this helps promote the message that dental health is an important part of overall health.