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Fluoridation Does Not Save Money or Teeth

In Uncategorized on November 30, 2005 at 10:47 am
Fluoridation does not save money or teeth
Here’s Why:
Eighty percent of all tooth decay occurs in about 20% of the population, usually low-income people who can’t afford to pay a dentist. If they are poor enough, they qualify for government reimbursement programs, like Medicaid. Unfortunately, most over 80% of dentists refuse Medicaid patients.
When a small cavity isn’t filled, it can grow, fester and absess and then qualifies for emergency room treatment, usually paid for by the government

Severe tooth decay is responsible for 2/3 of hospital visits by children under six in New York State (1), where almost 73% of the population drinks fluoridated water. Even in 100% fluoridated New York City, more children required cavity-related hospitalizations, proportionately, than two of New York State’s largest non-fluoridated counties, Suffolk and Nassau, whether payment was made by Medicaid or privately.

One New York City hospital charged from $929 to $12,199 to treat 96 children with severely decayed teeth, excluding the dentist and anesthesiologist fees. Children needed extensive work including stainless steel crowns, extractions, root canal therapy, fillings, other restorations, periodontal procedures, surgeries and/or more.

New York State hospital charges for the 2,726 early childhood cavities-related surgical visits required by children under six, in 1999, lie anywhere between $2.5 and $33 million, report NYS Department of Health Dentists, Kumar and Green, and others, in the Winter 2003 Journal of Public Health Dentistry, who also report they may be underestimating the numbers of children so treated.

National Medicaid costs for hospital treatment of early childhood cavities are between $100 to $200 million annually.

Even after hospital treatment, these children return with new lesions, say Kumar and colleagues.

Additionally, in New York State, 18% lost 6 or more teeth due to decay or gum disease(2) while only 16% of non-fluoridated Long Islanders did.(3). While 21%% of Brooklyn(4) and 20% of Queens(5) residents lost six or more teeth. (Brooklyn and Queens are part of New York City and fluoridated.)

In fact, poor New York City children have more tooth decay than the national average, despite fluoridation(6). And many get no dental care.

This is how Jonathan Kozol explains it in his book Savage Inequalities about life in the South Bronx (NYC): “Bleeding gums, impacted teeth and rotting teeth are routine matters for children….. Children live for months with pain that grown-ups would find unendurable. …I have seen children with teeth that look like brownish, broken sticks. I have seen teenagers who were missing half their teeth….”

Also, NYC African American adults studied have more cavities than all adults nationally,” reports “Dental Clinics of North America,” January 2003.

In 1984, New York City spent 2.4 million dollars on fluoridation chemicals, equipment and manpower, according to a DEP letter answering a New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation freedom of information request (7). Now fluoride chemicals, alone, cost the city $6 million annually, “The New York Sun” reports (8). The cost today of fluoridation in New York City is somewhere between $6 – $14 million.

The city is wasting it’s money.

Second-graders who live in non-fluoridated Long Island, New York, are more likely to be cavity-free than second graders nationally(9)

After over 50 years of water fluoridation, many children in Newburgh, New York have more cavities and more fluoride-caused discolored teeth (dental fluorosis) than children in never-fluoridated Kingston, New York, according to a New York State Department of Health study(10).

The Centers for Disease Control asserts that fluoridated water saves from $7 to $42 in dental care for every fluoridation dollar spent(11).

However, after decades of water fluoridation, virtually all Americans consume a fluoridated food and/or water supply. Yet, “dental spending outpaces economic growth, continuing a trend,” reports the American Dental Association(12)

An October 2004 article in a New York State newspaper confirms fluoridation’s uselessness:
Despite a tremendous effort to improve oral health in fluoridated Rochester and Monroe County, New York, lack of dental care has created a tooth decay crises. Fluoridation solves no problems and gives the illusion that organized dentistry actually is solving the problems outlined in the US Surgeon General’s report that a tooth decay “silent” epidemic is taking place is America. (
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041002/NEWS01/410020317/1002/NEWS

Children need dentists not fluoride.

References:

(1) “Early Childhood Caries-related Visits to Hospitals for Ambulatory Surgery in New York State,” Wadhawan, Kumar, Badner, Green, Journal of Public Health Dentistry Vol 63 No.1, Winter 2003

(2) http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/brfss/display.asp?cat=OH&yr=2002&qkey=6605&state=NY

5) http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/brfss-smart/MMSACtyRiskChart.asp?MMSA=61&yr2=2002&qkey=6605&CtyCode=92&cat=OH#OH
6) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=
PubMed&list_uids=12064497&dopt=Abstract

7) 10/10/85 and 10/25/85 letters from Mekenian, NYC DEP, to Paul S. Beeber, NYSCOF

8) http://www.nysun.com/sunarticle.asp?artID=503

9) Page four of ERIE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
COMMUNITY HEALTH ASSESSMENT – FAMILY HEALTH http://wings.buffalo.edu/wny/health/den.pdf

10) Figure 1, Page 41, “Recommendations for Fluoride Use in children” NYS Dental Journal, February 1998 (NYS Department of Health, 518-474-1961).

11) http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/pe_factsheets/pe_oh.htm

(12) http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/pubs/adanews/current.asp

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Gov’t Lies About Tooth Loss and Fluoride Benefit

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2005 at 8:03 am
About one-third of children and adolescents had enamel fluorosis of their teeth, admits the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in their 8/25/05 press release (1) which claimed a reduction in tooth decay. Fluorosis is the only outward sign of fluoride overdose or toxicity.
The press release puts a spin on the non-peer reviewed “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” (MMWR) which actually shows an increase in tooth decay in younger populations. Since tooth decay in primary teeth is the only proven indicator of tooth decay in permanent teeth, the future looks bleak for America’s oral health, despite indications of fluoride abundance.
This is what the report shows when the “questionable” category of fluorosis is included:

40% of 6-11-year-olds have fluorosis

49% of 12-15 year-olds have fluorosis
42% of 16-19-year-olds have fluorosis
America is experiencing a tooth decay epidemic, according to the U.S. Surgeon General at the same time the gov’t tells us American children are fluoride overdosed. How is that possible?
The CDC’s press release entitled, “New Report Finds Improvements in Oral Health of Americans,” obviously was not fact-checked by most reporters, because U.S. oral health is decaying, according to CDC’s own statistics.
Toothlessness went up from 2002 to 2004 (2,3,) and cavities experience got worse in two – four-year-olds (4).
The CDC’s MMWR report also tells us that dental fluorosis occurs more often in black children who also have higher rates of tooth decay.
If the people ingesting the most fluoride have the most cavities, what is that saying? This either means fluoride isn’t reducing tooth decay or maybe fluoride actually is causing tooth decay. In any event, it’s clearly not working in the black population.
Tooth decay rates went down since its inception in 1945 because diets improved and foods were fortified. Now that diets are decaying; so are teeth.
Tooth decay crises are occurring in most, if not all, fluoridated U.S. Cities. (5)
In fact, tooth decay is the new “racism,” according to best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell (Blink, The Tipping Point) who writes in the New Yorker that rotted teeth are the single most common complaint of America’s uninsured which keeps them in bad health, bad jobs, eating bad diets and generally keeps them down. (6) 108 million Americans lack dental insurance.
Meanwhile, dentists make much more money than physicians while working fewer days and, fewer hours (7) and refusing to treat low-income people whom they claim to care about when they endorse, instigate and promote water fluoridation.
I join the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Employees Unions asking for a moratorium on water fluoridation.
If you agree, please sign the petition supporting 11 EPA Unions, representing 7,000 EPA employees including scientists, toxicologists and other health professionals, in asking Congress to stop fluoridation until further study shows fluoridation’s benefits are worth the expense and risks.
References:
1) U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Office of Communication, “New Report Finds Improvements in Oral Health of Americans,” 8/25/05
http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/r050825.htm
4) Oral Health Progress Review 3/17/04
6) The New Yorker, ”The Moral Hazard Myth – The bad idea behind our failed health-care system.” by Malcolm Gladwell

Fluoridation Fails New York State

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2005 at 9:30 am
Organized dentistry is oblivious that their 1950’s concept, fluoridation, fails modern America as they continue to misrepresent fluoridation’s value. Since fluoridation began, dentists got richer and the poor were left behind. Take New York State, for instance:

Almost three fourths of New Yorkers have consumed tap water injected with fluoride for decades. Yet, New York State’s fluoridated counties and cities suffer worse dental health than those without fluoride-laced water supplies.

America’s oral health crisis is not due to lack of fluoride but because poor people can’t get dentists to fix their teeth. In fact, the American Dental Association says, “Low income is the single best predictor of high caries experience in children,” not lack of fluoridation. Low-income populations have the highest levels of dental disease but are least likely to be cared for, according to the General Accounting Office (1).

“In surveys conducted in Wyoming, Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI project), higher levels of dental disease correlated with counties having the least access to dental care,” according to Oral Care Report paid for by Colgate and edited by Harvard professor Chester W. Douglass DMD, PhD(1a). Other studies show cavities decline when fluoridation ends.(1b)

Starting fluoridation now is like locking the gate after the dogs have escaped. Every unfilled cavity will cost the taxpayers ten times as much or more in hospital emergency room visits. Fluoridated communities are still pouring money into oral health measures trying to fix a very broken public health dentistry problem (4).

Money spent on fluoridation is money wasted! With states cutting dental Medicaid benefits to balance their budgets, the situation will just get worse.

Most people get cavities. Imagine your smile never touched by a dentist. America’s poor and minorities, also the unhealthiest, suffer the most tooth decay. Most dentists reject low-paying government subsidized insurance or don’t live in low-income or rural neighborhoods. So the underprivileged often have no choice but to wait until their teeth rot so badly and hurt so much it justifies a hospital emergency room visit. Fluoridation is supposed to prevent this; but doesn’t.
Despite fluoridation, severe tooth decay is responsible for two thirds of hospital visits by children under six in New York State (2). In New York City, fluoridated since 1965, more children required cavity-related hospitalizations, proportionately, than two of New York State’s largest non-fluoridated counties, Suffolk and Nassau (Long island) whether payment was made by Medicaid or privately.(2)
This is how Jonathan Kozol explains life in the South Bronx (a NYC borough) in his book, Savage Inequalities, “Bleeding gums, impacted teeth and rotting teeth are routine matters for children….. Children live for months with pain that grown-ups would find unendurable. …I have seen children with teeth that look like brownish, broken sticks. I have seen teenagers who were missing half their teeth….”

Far from “putting themselves out of business,” as they once predicted by insisting water supplies be spiked with fluoride, today’s dentists work fewer hours a day, less days a week but make more money than physicians (3). At the same time, most dentists refuse to treat poor patients with the most dental needs except maybe once a year with much fanfare and publicity. Emergency room dental costs are staggeringly higher than a dental visit. And taxpayers foot the bill.

One New York City hospital charged from $900 to $12,000 to treat 96 children with severely decayed teeth, excluding the dentist and anesthesiologist fees. Children needed extensive work including stainless steel crowns, extractions, root canal therapy, fillings, other restorations, periodontal procedures, surgeries and/or more. (2)

NYS hospital costs were between $2.5 and $33 million for the 2,726 childhood cavities-related surgical visits required by children under six, in 1999. (2) Even after hospital treatment, these children return with new lesions.

Cavities are, largely, another disease of poverty and/or poor nutrition that only dentists or dental therapists can fix-–but not with fluoridation.

Further evidence shows fluoridation neither saves NYS money nor reduces cavities:

• According to New York University’s School of Dentistry, “The need for dental care is especially acute among impoverished (NYC) children, who have 60 percent more untreated cavities than their peers at higher socioeconomic levels.” (4)

• Lack of oral health care for adults in Harlem is a hidden crisis, write researchers in the American Journal of Public Health. (5)

• “Adolescents in northern Manhattan (another NYC borough) have higher caries prevalence than their national counterparts,” The Journal of Public Health Dentistry, reports.” (6)
• Latinos and African American seniors suffer high rates of tooth decay and tooth loss in Northern Manhattan (7), according to the Journal of Community Health.

• A higher prevalence of dental decay is found in New York City African Americans, aged 18 – 64, than found nationally, reports Dental Clinics of North America. (8)

• Dental caries, among disadvantaged 3 to 4-year-old children in northern Manhattan, are higher than the national average (9), according to Pediatric Dentistry.
• After over fifty years of water fluoridation, many children in Newburgh, New York have more cavities and more fluoride–caused discolored teeth (dental fluorosis) than children in never-fluoridated Kingston, New York, according to a New York State Department of Health study published in the New York State Dental Journal (10).

• Second-graders from non-fluoridated Long Island, New York, are more cavity-free than second graders nationally (11) where two thirds of Americans drink fluoridated public water supplies.

• Despite a tremendous effort to improve oral health in fluoridated Rochester and Monroe County, lack of dental care has created a tooth decay crisis.(12)

• In fluoridated Syracuse and Massena, many children are raised in homes where they feel it’s their destiny to have tooth decay and tooth pain.(13)

• “Poor oral health was identified as the number one complaint in a population-based survey of Central Harlem conducted in 1992-1994.” (14)

• In Harlem, N.Y., forty-six percent of African-American seniors were missing teeth, compared with twenty-two percent of Latinos. (15)

• “The state also has increased dental payment rates by 250 percent over the past few years, with little success in improving access to dental care.” in fluoridated Syracuse, New York.(16)
• Cavities are rising in fluoridated Rochester’s 10-year-old population. (17)

• Eighteen percent of older New Yorkers lost six or more teeth due to dental disease, (18) while only sixteen percent of non-fluoridated Long islanders did. (19)

• Similarly twenty-one percent of Brooklyn’s and twenty percent of Queens’ residents have less teeth (20), than non-fluoridated Suffolk and Nassau Counties.

• Cavity crises occur in many fluoridated cities and states. (21)

By neglecting the poor, organized dentistry helped create an oral health epidemic (22). Promoting fluoridation may deflect government regulators from forcing dentists to actually treat poor children (23).

Besides, after six decades of water fluoridation, cavity rates have increased recently in America’s 2 to 4 year-old population who should be the most “fluoride-protected.” (23a)

And, according to the American Dental Association News, average net income of a full time independent non-solo pediatric dentist was $336,860 in 2001, up more than twenty-five percent since 1998. Since eight percent of all decay occurs mostly in the dentist-abandoned poor, some public health dentists ask, what kinds of necessary dental services are provided to higher socio-economic kids to generate a net income of $336,860 annually?

In 1984, NYC spent $2.4 million for fluoridation chemicals, equipment and manpower, according to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. In 2003, fluoride chemicals, alone, cost NYC $6 million, according to the New York Sun.

Fluoridation money, literally flushed down the toilet, should be earmarked to treat poor NYC children’s dental pain immediately.

Even more worrying is that higher blood lead levels are found in New York State (and other) children whose water supplies contain the fluoride chemicals, silicofluorides, when compared to non-fluoridated or sodium fluoridated communities, reports Masters and Coplan and substantiated by CDC scientists.(24) Ironically, higher blood lead levels are linked to more cavities. (25)

The cost of fluoridation isn’t the only price we pay when silicofluorides are put into drinking water. “Silicofluorides have very costly side-effects,” says Roger Masters, PhD, co-author of the silicofluoride/lead studies. “Lead lowers IQ and influences behavior in many ways. Epidemiology shows that where silicofluorides are used, there are higher rates of learning disabilities, substance abuse, and violent crime. Our studies do not find similar effects for sodium fluoride,” says Masters.

“The result is that silicofluoride usage has the effect of increasing public expenses and taxes,” says Masters. For example costs of jailing criminals, adversely affected by silicofluorides and special education classes for children with lower IQ due to high-blood-lead levels could be diminished if the offending silicofluorides were removed from public water supplies, Masters explains.

“The oral health crisis facing America today shows fluoridation and public health dentistry is failing America’s neediest children. Why is organized dentistry less supportive of a public health approach to improving access to care? Perhaps that’s because Americans spent roughly $64 billion on dental procedures last year with more than half of those procedures being cosmetic—fillings, crowns, implants, and high-end restorative procedures, according to government data,” reported in Access, an American Dental Hygienists’ Association publication.(26)

Organized dentistry often hinders programs designed to reach out to America’s underserved, protecting their monopoly rather than America’s neediiest. The ADA publicly invalidates dental hygienists solo practices along with their “Give-Kids-A-Smile” public relations materials. The hygienists lash back with their own news release (27) The ADA also frowns on dental therapists, specially trained hygienists who can fill the cavities dentists refuse to.(28)

References:

(1) September 2000 “Oral Health Factors Contributing to Low Use of Dental
Services by Low-Income Populations
,” General Accounting Office
http://www.gao.gov/archive/2000/he00149.pdf

(1a) Colgate Oral Care Report Volume 14 No. 4, November 4, 2004 http://www.colgateprofessional.com/app/cop/repository/article-201/frameset.jsp

(2) “Early Childhood Caries-related Visits to Hospitals for Ambulatory Surgery in New York State,” Wadhawan, Kumar, Badner, Green, Journal of Public Health Dentistry Vol 63 No.1, Winter 2003
(3) “Dentists’ pay tops doctors’ Even with fewer cavities to fill, dentists’ earnings are skyrocketing.” By Mark Maremont, The Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2005
http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/business/10614433.htm

(4) New York University, School of Dentistry, “Speaker Miller and City Council Expand Dental Services for Needy Childrenhttp://www.nyu.edu/dental/news/needychildren.html

(5) “Lack of Oral Health Care for Adults in Harlem: A Hidden Crisis,” Zabos, et al, American Journal of Public Health, January 2002, Vol 92, No.l
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=11772760

(6) Journal of Public Health Dentistry, Summer; 63(3): 189-94
Dental caries experience in northern Manhattan adolescents.”.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12962473

(7) Journal of Community Health, August 2003, ” Oral disease burden and dental services utilization by Latino and African-American seniors in Northern Manhattan.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12856796

(8) Dental Clinics of North America, January 2003 “Dental caries prevalence among a sample of African American adults in New York City,”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12519005&dopt=Abstract
(9) Pediatric Dentistry, May-June 2002, “Dental caries among disadvantaged 3- to 4-year-old children in northern Manhattan

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12064497

(10) NYS Dental Journal,”Recommendations for Fluoride Use in children,” February 1998 by dentists Kumar and Green. Figure 1, Page 41, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=9542393
(11) Page four of ERIE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT COMMUNITY HEALTH ASSESSMENT – FAMILY HEALTH
http://wings.buffalo.edu/wny/health/den.pdf

(12) Democrat and Chronicle, “Dental care is luxury for many locals,” October 2004
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041002/NEWS01/410020317/1002/NEWS

(13) Small Smiles gives kids a reason to grin
Updated: 12/1/2004 by Al Nall, News 10 Now Web Staff
http://news10now.com/content/all_news/?ArID=32340&SecID=83

(14)
Abstract presented at meeting of American Public Health Association
“Community DentCare Network: Community-academic partnerships as a model in identifying, addressing, and reducing oral health disparities”
(15) U.S. News and World Reports 11/9/04
Open wide
A report looks at the dental health of African-American males,
By Elizabeth Querna
(16) Cost Concerns Grow Despite New Health Plan Competition in Syracuse
Community Report No. 7
Summer 2003
http://www.hschange.org/CONTENT/572/

(17) University of Rochester News Release
Dental cavities on the rise again; back to ‘drill and fill’
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2000-04/UoR-Dcot-0704100.php

(21) Cavity Crises in Fluoridated Cities and States compiled by New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation http://www.orgsites.com/ny/nyscof2/_pgg6.php3
(22) “FIRST-EVER SURGEON GENERAL’S REPORT ON ORAL HEALTH FINDS PROFOUND DISPARITIES IN NATION’S POPULATION,” News Release, May 2000, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/news/pressreleases/pr_oral_52000.htm

(23) Oregon Dental Association newsletter, April 2004, Volume 9, Number 11 (Page 6)
http://www.oregondental.org/oda/section.cfm?wSectionID=1277

(23a)
Data Presentation by Dr. Edward Sondik
Director, National Center for Health Statistics
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/otheract/hpdata2010/focusareas/fa21-oral.htm
(24) More Lead in Children Who Drink Fluoridated Water, by Sally Stride, June 2004
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/fluoridation/109036

(25) Moss, M.E. 1999. Association of dental caries and blood lead levels. Journal of the American Medical Association 281(June 23/30):2294.
(26) “Why Millions Suffer with preventable oral disease,” by Bryan L. Scott, June 2002 . Access, an American Dental Hygienist Association’s publication
By Bryant L. Scott
http://www.adha.org/downloads/0506lead.pdf

27) ADHA’s Response to ADA Study: The Economic Impact of Unsupervised Dental Hygiene Practice and its Impact on Access to Care in the State of Colorado , February 4, 2005
http://www.adha.org/news/012805-study.htm

(28) “First Alaskan dental therapists to qualify,” RDH
http://de.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?ARTICLE_ID=219527&p=56