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New Pennsylvania Dental Association President Will Focus on Improving Access to Care
Date:4/17/2008

Dr. Thomas Gamba of Philadelphia to continue PDA's efforts to improve

patient access

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) recently installed Dr. Thomas W. Gamba of Philadelphia as its new president. Dr. Gamba, who served as president-elect for the past year, said improving patient access to oral health services will continue to be a major focus of the organization.

"All Pennsylvanians deserve access to quality dental health care," Dr. Gamba said. "The Pennsylvania Dental Association is working with the General Assembly on several efforts to improve access to oral health services throughout the Commonwealth."

Dr. Gamba said the PDA is supporting legislation (HB 1649) that would require water systems with 500 or more customers to adjust the levels of naturally occurring fluoride in their water in an effort to improve the oral health of Pennsylvanians. Currently, only about half the population of Pennsylvania is served by water systems with the optimal level of fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Sixty years of scientific studies have proven that fluoride prevents tooth decay and is safe to consume.

"It costs a community between 50 cents and $3 per person per year to fluoridate the water to protect people from tooth decay. For most communities, every $1 spent on fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs," Dr. Gamba said.

In addition to fluoridation, Dr. Gamba said the PDA is supporting the following legislative efforts to improve access to quality dental health care:

Requiring Insurers to Cover Anesthesia for Children and Special Needs Patients. PDA advocates requiring insurers to cover general anesthesia for young children and special needs patients who cannot receive treatment in dental offices. Twenty nine other states require this coverage to ensure that the most vulnerable patients receive dental care.

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Dental Association
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