The American Way of Dentistry
The oral cost spiral.
It makes sense to me that affluent Americans are motivated to take good care of their teeth because they want to maintain the investment they (or their parents) have made in their mouths. And according to Evelyn Ireland, executive director of the NADP, fewer than 5 percent of people with dental coverage hit their annual maximum. That's the good news. The bad news is that if you're one of those 5 percent, you're going to pay, so to speak, through the mouth. It's financially brutal to be an oral have-not in America.
Next: How Dentists Think
Click here to see a video slide show about the painful history of dentists in the movies. Got a dentist story to tell? Become a fan of "The American Way of Dentistry" on Facebook.
Click here to see a video slide show about the painful history of dentists in the movies.
Got a dentist story to tell? Become a fan of "The American Way of Dentistry" on Facebook.
Correction, Sept. 30, 2009: This piece originally used an inaccurate description of the chart. It shows the overall consumer price index compared to the dental and medical indexes, not inflation rates. We have also corrected the title of the chart. (Return to the corrected sentence.)
June Thomas is a Slate culture critic. Follow her on Twitter.
Illustrations by Dave Franzese.