Four out of five dentists agree: Gov. Pawlenty's proposed budget cuts bad for teeth, state

Categories: Health Care

The plot line is pretty formulaic at this point: Tim Pawlenty proposes budget cut. People directly affected by the cut get angry. Form group to decry said cut. Send out press releases outlining why cut will create more problems than it will solve. Pawlenty cuts budget anyway. We all wake up the next morning too figuratively hungover to give a shit anymore. Next. Issue.

The latest iteration has T-Paw proposing to gut dental care for those on medical assistance. Which naturally has Minnesota dentists in a tizzy. So today the Minnesota Dental Association announced the formation of a new lobbyist group dedicated to fighting the cuts.

"Eliminating adult dental care and [the Critical Access Dental Provider Program] will force many people into hospital emergency rooms for treatment of their oral pain, rather than using the more effective use of dental offices," said Lee Jess, president of the Minnesota Dental Association, in today's press release. "Emergency rooms are not set up to treat dental disease and most do not even have dentists or oral surgeons on duty. Statewide, there are more than 20,000 emergency room visits for dental care each year. That number will dramatically increase if we deny people the option to visit a dentist office where the care is less costly and more comprehensive."

Condensed version: now's probably a good time to put a little extra effort into your flossing regiment.

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