The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) commends Frontline and the Center for Public Integrity for shining a light on the importance of dental care by airing its joint investigation of the nation’s ruptured dental care system and bringing appropriate attention to America’s dental care crisis. While the program showcased the extreme difficulties millions of Americans - including children with government-provided insurance - experience seeking dental care, it’s important to note that pediatric dentists have been consistent advocates for improvements in the system, which will result in better access to care. Pediatric dentists speak from experience as they disproportionately treat our country’s most vulnerable children, including those on public insurance.
As the leading authority on children’s oral health, the AAPD and its members advocate that every child deserves a healthy start on life. According to AAPD President Dr. Joel H. Berg, "Our historical focus has always been for optimum oral health care, and we will continue exploring methods in pediatric dentistry that will allow us to strive to deliver optimal oral health care to all children."
Nearly 70 percent of AAPD members accept Medicaid, as highlighted in its 2010 membership survey. Pediatric dentists understand all too well this oral health care disparity, and as a result, provide significant services to 20 percent of children served in pediatric dental offices that are on public insurance.
AAPD’s mission is to advocate oral health policies, clinical guidelines and programs that promote optimal oral health and oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs. AAPD encourages all practitioners to use its policies and guidelines: http://www.aapd.org/policies/