Make Oral Health a Priority in Cancer Care

Undergoing treatment for cancer can be a scary and stressful ordeal, especially if surgery is required. With so many things to remember and arrangements to be made for before and after care, it's easy to forget important steps along the way. But researchers are now saying that one surprising step in pre-op care could literally be the difference between life and death, post operation.

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Group Asks Senate to ‘Brush Up’ on Oral Health

With 44 million senior citizens on some form of Medicare in the United States (and that number set to nearly double in the next 12 years), ensuring that Medicare provides adequate health care coverage for all beneficiaries is an absolute must. But, when it comes to dental care, some feel that Medicare is completely lacking. That’s because currently Medicare covers just 1 percent of dental care for seniors, requiring them to purchase additional coverage for anything beyond the most basic of care. But now, a group called Demand Medicare Dental is trying to change that, lobbying senators across America to add more vital dental coverage to Medicare - without sticking seniors with the bill.

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New Dental Bill Could Improve Access

On February 27, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Action for Dental Health Act (H.R.2422). Co-authored by the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), and Mike Simpson (R-ID), a dentist, the bill received overwhelming support from both parties, and passed with 387 yes votes.

The bill’s next stop is the Senate, where it is currently being sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ); Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI); Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA); and Tim Scott (R-SC). The bill aims to reauthorize initiatives that increase access to oral health care for people in underserved communities around the United States.

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ADA Takes Aim at Opioid Crisis

With growing cries from as high up as the White House for America to tackle the growing opioid addiction crisis, the American Dental Association announced it will now take a hardline approach to dentists prescribing the drugs. ADA President Dr. Joseph Crowley has asked that all 161,000 member-dentists "eliminate opioids ... if at all possible." While the move is a noble attempt to help reduce addiction and cull the sale of opioids from the secondary market, many are left wondering what it could mean for the comfort of patients undergoing painful procedures like pulled teeth, dental implants and root canals.

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