Dental care has historically not been considered essential health care in the American medical system. But anyone who has experienced limited access to dental care knows the connection between teeth and public health.
“Ask an individual who has had to deal with a child having a toothache for weeks on end and is not able to find a dentist to care for their child. Does that parent know about the connections between dental care and public health and the broader health care system? Absolutely,” said Donald Chi. “Privileged people in general do not see the connection because privilege affords you the opportunity to buy your way out of a lot of the problems that individuals from underserved communities deal with every single day.”