A joint investigation with

Dollars and Dentists

June 26, 2012

FRONTLINE and the Center for Public Integrity investigate the shocking consequences of a broken dental care system.

Tragic Results When Dental Care Is Out Of Reach

No one should die because of a toothache. This is the story of two people who did.

Dr. Frank Catalanotto: Why The ADA Is Wrong About Access To Dental Care

The system would benefit from more midlevel care providers, he says, although that idea has met resistance from the American Dental Association.

Aspen Dental CEO Bob Fontana: “We’re Big Advocates for the Patient”

“There is a big underserved part of the marketplace that has barriers to care,” he says. “That’s where we come in.”

Dr. Bill Calnon: Why Dentistry Needs More Prevention, Not More Treaters

The president of the American Dental Association on how to fix access to care.


Senate Report Faults Children’s Dental Chain for “Fundamentally Deceptive” Care

The bipartisan report recommends removing Small Smiles, one of the nation’s largest dental chains for children, from the Medicaid program for encouraging dentists to perform unnecessary treatments to boost profits.

Texas Law Cracks Down on Unnecessary Dental Treatments

Its sponsor says FRONTLINE’s “Dollars and Dentists” investigation sparked the bill.

DentalWorks Chain Misdiagnosed for Money, Dentists Say

The chain, which is one of several dental chains under scrutiny for its practices, allegedly pushed for diagnoses that would lead to more expensive treatment.

Texas Legislator Proposes Crackdown on For-Profit Dental Chains

Outraged by allegations that corporate chains put profits ahead of patients, a leading Texas Republican has proposed legislation that would allow the state to regulate chains and forbid them from forcing dentists to meet revenue quotas.

Aspen Dental Facing Class-Action Lawsuit

The suit accuses one of the nation’s largest corporate dental chains of illegally owning dental practices and of deceiving patients.

Sen. Grassley Investigating Abuse at Corporate Dental Chains

For months, Grassley’s staff has been asking questions of three dental chains serving poor children on Medicaid.

How The Supreme Court’s Ruling Affects Dental Care

Long overlooked as a secondary aspect of health care, dental care is an important element of overall health, experts say. … Continue reading

Dental Professionals Speak Out About America’s Care Crisis

From the cost of dental school to care alternatives, a selection of responses to our film “Dollars and Dentists” from those who work in the field.

How To Fix A Broken Dental Safety Net

A trip to the dentist’s office may instill a sense of dread, but for the majority Americans, access to care is rarely an issue.

Live Chat 2:30 p.m. ET: Inside America’s Dental Care Crisis

Join a live chat about “Dollars and Dentists” on 6/27 at 2:30 p.m. ET with correspondent Miles O’Brien, producer Jill Rosenbaum, Center for Public Integrity reporter David Heath, and guest questioner Mary Otto.

Kool Smiles’ Response

In response to questions from the Center for Public Integrity and FRONTLINE, Kool Smiles presented two documents totaling 85 pages challenging the reporting on this project, refuting some criticism of the company and presenting data to support the quality of its dental and business practices.

When the Dentist Won’t See You

Millions of Americans are ending up in the emergency room instead of the dentist’s chair when they have problems with their teeth — sometimes even when they have insurance.

Dig Deeper: What You Need to Know About America’s Health Care Crisis

The Supreme Court is expected to deliver its ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) within the next two weeks, a decision that could possibly overturn the health care reform bill passed in 2010 that has been a cornerstone of the Obama presidency.

America’s Dental Care Crisis

More than 100 million Americans don’t go to the dentist because they can’t afford it. Instead, they end up broke, … Continue reading

More Americans Visiting ER for Dental Care

More Americans are visiting the emergency room for toothaches and routine dental problems — at 10 times the cost of preventative care and with far fewer treatment options than a dentist’s office, according to a new report out today.


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