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Bad teeth, broken dreams: Lack of dental care keeps many out of jobs

By June 13, 2013 December 1st, 2013 No Comments

With five broken teeth, three cavities and a painful gum abscess spreading to her sinuses, Patty Kennedy knew she had to get in line early for a free dental clinic held last month in San Jose, Calif.

The 53-year-old woman from Modesto, nearly 100 miles away, was counting on the care to repair not only her smile and her worsening health — but also her chances of getting a job.best implant dentist london…Kennedy knew that bad teeth translate into poor employment prospects, even for the best workers.

“I really don’t smile a lot,” said Kennedy, whose husband, Lucas, also 53, lost his job five years ago when California’s construction economy tanked. “I know that when you have a job, you want to have a pleasant attitude and you’ve got to smile and be friendly.”

Lack of access to dental care is a particular problem in California, where budget woes virtually eliminated access to the state’s Denti-Cal program in 2009, leaving an estimated 3 million poor, disabled and elderly people without oral health services. In 2012, CDA events provided about $2.8 million in free care to nearly 4,000 people.

But barriers to dental services are a problem nationwide, with more than 47 million people in the U.S. living in places with difficult access to care, according to the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration, same day teeth london or HRSA. Low-income adults are almost twice as likely as those with higher incomes to have no dental care in the previous year, according to a 2008 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which take effect in 2014, guarantee dental care for children, but not for adults. And without such care, adults already struggling to get by find that obvious dental problems – teeth that are missing, discolored, broken or badly crooked — make their situation even harder, said Susan Hyde, a dentist and population scientist at the University of California at San Francisco.affordable dental implant london

In America, most people – including employers – make instant judgments based on appearance, including someone’s smile and teeth.

“If you want to portray someone as being wicked, they have missing front teeth. If they’re ignorant, they have buck teeth,” she said. “Even from a very early age, we associate how one presents their oral health with all kinds of biases that reflect some of the social biases that we have.”affordable cosmetic dentistry london

Those views can prevent potential employers from recognizing potential assets, said Lindsey Robinson, a dentist and current president of the California Dental Association.

“If they have a job that requires them to interact socially with the public, it’s almost impossible for them to get that job,” she said. “Customer service jobs, good entry-level jobs, they’re not available to people who lack the basic ability to smile, to function, to chew properly.”…read more

 

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