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I-Team: Investigation Changes Dental Care Procedures in Maryland
   posted 3:41 pm Wed July 02, 2008 -
ABC 7 News - I-Team: Investigation Changes Dental Care Procedures in Maryland
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Changes are being made for children needing dental care in Maryland, in part to ABC 7 I-Team's Small Smiles investigation.

The changes will affect tens of thousands of families who've had a tough time finding quality care. The overhaul will bring greater oversight and encourage more dentists to accept Medicaid families. 

Most dentists won't treat children on Medicaid because it pays less than private insurance. The I-Team's investigation showed Small Smiles made up for low fees with high volume. Beginning the first week in July, Maryland Medicaid officials will begin pumping an additional $14 million dollars into the program to encourage more dentists to participate.

"The state is concerned overwhelmingly about two things: We want to make sure we have enough dentists who can provide services to the children, and we want to make sure that those services are of high quality," said John Folkemer with the Maryland Department of Health.

Before, Small Smiles would keep parents waiting in the lobby, and had no special training for dentists who routinely used restraining devices while treating young children. 

"We have required them to do some corrective actions," said Folkemer, "and to change some of the policies."

Folkemer says parents must be allowed to stay with their children and dentists now receive training on how and when to use so-called papoose boards.

Also consent forms were changed which had falsely told parents that restraints posed "no known risks" to children. Small Smiles now warns parents of potential "serious consequences" of these restraints, including "physical or psychological harm even death." 

"And we [also] will now have one organization that we can deal with to handle any such problems as have been raised as to the quality of care or access," said Folkemer.

 

Old Consent Form New Consent Form
Old Consent Form New Consent Form

 

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ABC 7 Talkback: I-Team: Investigation Changes Dental Care Procedures in Maryland
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Why is it that over 50% of the Mediaid children require silver teeth and braces---because they are the highest paying services your taxes will pay for ----on average do 50% of all young children need braces and silver teeth?  Next time you are in a classroom look around and see how many minority children can afford to have silver teeth and braces---can you afford this?  With so much free food --they can afford to buy junk food which is part of the problem---the other is all the free milk and juice the mothers pump into them at night without brusing their teeth.  If the vendors who sell all the supplies the government gives out free can get greedy and up their prices why can't the dentist try to get the most of their service---unsupervised government help can hurt our economy.

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