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Editorials |

Dental Care for the Handicapped

JOHN J. SALLEY, D.D.S., PH.D.
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Virginia Commonwealth University; Richmond, Virginia


Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(2):362-363. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-93-2-362
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A recent special report published by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (1) focuses on an issue in health care that heretofore has received relatively little attention or emphasis: the lack of access to dental care experienced by most of the 33 million Americans who are handicapped. The resulting dental neglect leads to needless pain, discomfort, and chronic infection, all producing unnecessary complications in persons with already complicated lives. Because this lack of access is a direct consequence of a physical or mental disability, its resolution will require the wisdom and collective efforts of physicians, dentists, and other health providers.

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