Boy Died From Tooth Infection

Horror story. A boy had an infection in his tooth and the poor mother could not get him to the dentist because the boy did not have any medical insurance. His immune system totally collapsed because of the infection. Isn’t that horrible. Kids dying like that. The boy must have suffered so much. Poor boy. The teeth, as a part of the body, has long been ignored by doctors. Indeed, when dental problems go untreated there can be horrible consequences. Medicaid program is sued by the family, Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Florida Pediatric Society. But that will not bring the boy back! Read more………. The death of a 12 year old boy in the US has highlighted a glaring gap in the health care system that is affectively shutting off dental coverage to millions of Americans. Deamonte Driver died from a tooth infection that spread into the brain, because his mother didn’t have health insurance to pay for a visit to the dentist.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) expressed their deepest condolences to the family of

12-year-old Maryland boy. According to AAPD Deamonte Driver’s death point to a complete system breakdown. The AAPD continues to advocate across the nation addressing ways to improve access to dental care for all children. As the state and federal Medicaid dental system now stands, it is badly broken in many states. Major improvements need to be made so that more children will not fall through the cracks. Although Deamonte Driver is a rare case, many children are at-risk.

Oral health is central to overall health. The mouth, as a part of the body, has long been ignored. Indeed, when dental problems go untreated innocent victims suffer the unfortunate consequences. This exemplifies the importance of every child having a dental home and the proper infrastructure in place to prevent and treat dental decay.

Currently, more than nine million children have no medical insurance, and the number grows even higher for those without dental insurance. Families who have Medicaid find the system overbearing, the paperwork burdensome, and access to care an ultimate challenge.* Additionally, establishing a federal guarantee for dental coverage in State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is critical.

The AAPD is working hard to support an infrastructure that can help families who need it most. In some states, such as Michigan, Alabama, Delaware, and Tennessee, the system has been improved. However, there is still a long way to go. At the end of March, AAPD’s leading child advocates will be meeting with legislators in the nation’s capital to address this growing epidemic. The AAPD will continue to be a beacon of support and advocacy for all children.

The failures of Medicaid dental programs have even lead to lawsuits in some states, in a fight for equal access to quality healthcare. For example, a little over a year ago the Florida chapter of the American

Academy of Pediatric Dentistry joined with the Florida Pediatric Society and families in a lawsuit against the state Medicaid program. The lawsuit claims that Florida Medicaid fails to provide essential medical and dental services as required by Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

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