On Sept. 12, 2013, Frank Catalanotto, D.M.D., testified at a U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging hearing, “Dental Crisis in America: The Need to Address Cost.” The hearing examined the challenges Americans face accessing affordable dental care.
Catalanotto, chair of the University of Florida Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences was one of four witnesses who shared their viewpoints and experiences before the subcommittee.
Catalanotto gave a perspective on the challenges in the U.S. relating to oral health care and the effects of the lack of access to preventive care on overall physical health of Americans who are unable to find treatment, pointing out that low reimbursement rates from Medicaid for dental care exacerbate the access issue.
He also shared what U.S. dental schools are doing to reduce the gap in access to care and how practicing dentists work to reduce the gap, especially through pro-bono care, “However I would submit to you that while philanthropic care is wonderful, philanthropy is not a health care system and does little for long term oral health.”
You can watch the video of the hearing and download the testimony of the witnesses at this link.