Dental care in the US is increasingly becoming something that only the upscale segment of society can afford causing many to leave the US on “Dental Vacations” to Mexico and Asia to find affordable dental care. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been a critic of the high cost of dental care n the US for 2 decades. -ed
"We have a real crisis both in terms of access to affordable dental care—and not only for lower-income Americans but for many in the middle-class as well—and the consequences of a lack of treatment."- Bernie Sanders at Congressional Hearing on Health Care 2012
By Reed Abelson for NY Times
With dental costs rising and employers cutting dental coverage, an increasing number of working Americans cannot afford to see a dentist even for chronic problems. If you need a full-mouth restoration, several root canals, 27 crowns or dental implants - most dental insurance won’t cover you.
During the Iraq war, some reservists and Guard members chose to have their teeth pulled so that they could be deployed, said Maj. Gen. Robert A. McIntosh,in testimony before Congress.
"Although promised restorative dental work, their reward for their loyalty and patriotism will be dentures," he said. Dental implants, a better alternative to dentures, are not covered because they are more expensive.
In a nation where a person's smile is considered a sign of general well-being and an important factor in landing a job, dental care is becoming ever more unequal, policy specialists say. In 2000, the Surgeon General issued a report describing the silent epidemic of dental and oral diseases.