Persuasive Essay On Dental Care

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Dental care is a service that all people should have access to, regardless of their ethnic background. Unfortunately, this is not the reality in the United States. Millions of Native Americans on reservations are stifled from receiving the much needed dental care they require, and as result, Native Americans are disproportionately affected by oral ailments. Tribal sovereignty is defined as the right for an independent tribal authority to govern its members. In regards to dental care, this is the right to train, license, and employ medical professionals. Currently, this system is not working. Native Americans are faced with oral ailments at an alarmingly high rate compared to other ethnic groups, and have limited access to adequate dental…show more content…
According to an article by the Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public policy, DHATs are cost-effective because their training is only 2 years and they treat most basic ailments and are able to carry out regular checkups (Pewtrusts). Rather than spending lots of money on medical professionals, tribes can affordably employ DHATs, only hiring dentists exclusively for advanced operations, and save valuable money that can be used to open and upgrade clinics.. Sadly, in the mainland United States, political lobbying from the American Dental Association has been violating the sovereignty of tribes (Potter). By preventing DHATs from practicing on tribal lands, tribes in the mainland United States are faced with financial hardship in providing dental care to their people. Political lobbying remains a complex, fiercely debated issue, but softening the power of the American Dental Association on the business of sovereign tribes and allowing tribes to employ DHATs is a good place to start in order to help the tribes. In fact, tribes are taking action: The Swinomish Tribe in Washington state is suing the ADA, and tribes in other states are following (Potter). If the tribe emerges victorious from the lawsuit, we could see a dramatic increase in the oral health of Native Americans, due to better access to…show more content…
In New Zealand, children who meet certain eligibility criteria for publicly funded health and disability services are entitled to free basic oral health services until they are 18 (Publicly Funded Dental Care). As a result, there are drastically less untreated cavities for children covered by this plan compared to children on tribal reserves. Oral health for children in New Zealand is significantly better than the rest of the world, and we can definitely learn from their success by incorporating a government dental care system, at least on a small
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