Cheap fixing is not the future of health care

Letters to the Editor

Cheap fixing is not the future of health care

I was concerned with the letter, “It’s time for Ohio to update its dental practice laws,” Feb. 14. The letter writer and the federal government believe the answer to the growing dental disease problem is “mid-level providers” to fix damaged teeth (fill or pull). These and mid-level providers (two years post high school dental training) will fill or pull more teeth cheaper than dentists.

Today’s dentists receive eight years of college (four in dental school) and hygienists receive 2-4 years. Turning poorly trained mid-level providers onto unsuspecting Ohioans is an awful idea that puts us back to the pre-dental school era of the late 1800s where “tooth drawers” (often barbers) pulled American’s aching teeth with no formal training.

Over the last 25 years, dental research has shown us how to control decay and gum disease. It’s cheaper to reduce the number of teeth that need to be fixed, than to allow the number of teeth needing to be fixed to grow – and then needing mid-levels to provide cheaper fixes. So far, our government has no alternatives to the current more fixes approach except to promote cheaper, quicker unsupervised fixes.

For the last 15 years, and recently with the support of Rep. Richard Adams and Sen. Bill Beagle, I have proposed a pilot program be established in the Tipp City/Troy area to test my incentive based preventive program in a 3-year study at HealthPark.

I hope someday our government will see the value in preventative-based health care. CHARLES C. SMITH, TIPP CITY

Honoring true heroes

Your article about 24 minority service members from the past having their military awards upgraded to the Medal of Honor reminds me of a remarkable young man I knew in 1969. He was Jose Jimenez of Phoenix, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. It would be presumptuous of me to call him a close friend just because we were in the same company, but I’d have been honored if I could have. He was not just of Mexican descent, but still a Mexican citizen aspiring to become an American citizen. Whenever I hear discussion on illegal immigration, I think of Jose who was doing it the right way and who never got to be the great American he surely would have been. Each Memorial Day since, I am at the cemetery honoring him and 36 others I knew as well, of course, as so many others. Please come out with me this year to honor these true heroes. DENNIS SINGLETON, DAYTON

Speak Ups

Lack of retention is a huge problem. Teachers’ professional opinions are often ignored by administrators and/or parents when they recommend retention. Then they want to blame the teachers when the students can’t pass the third-grade reading test. The snowball effect of sending students on when they are obviously years behind is a disservice to the students. The time to retain is statistically considered the primary years — the earlier the better.

Isn’t it interesting how many people in favor of marriage are so opposed to letting others marry? Maybe they should be concentrating instead on keeping marriages together… i.e. lowering the divorce rate, and not on preventing others from marrying. The goal should be stable families, whatever their make-up.

While we have seen the chaos in the Middle East grow into a catastrophe, we also see tragedy occurring in other places such as Venezuela and the Ukraine. I can’t help but wonder if a Harry Truman or Dwight Eisenhower were in office what they might have done differently these last five years and how differently things might be in those countries.