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Lack of dental coverage sends patients to ER for pain
USA Today

When a man recently visited an emergency room here with a toothache, consulting physician Alan Sorkey quickly diagnosed the dental infection was serious and even potentially fatal. The patient was on more than 25 medications and scheduled for a major surgery — not dental related — all covered by government health care programs, Sorkey said. Those same programs wouldn’t cover the estimated $70 to pull the rotting tooth. The patient didn’t have the money for it, and a local low-cost oral surgery clinic had a wait of as long as a year for an appointment, he said.

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