Oral health is essential to our overall health and well-being. But for so many underserved communities, it’s simply not a realistic option to maintain routine dental visits. Delayed dental care can allow potentially dangerous conditions to remain untreated and can be linked to other serious health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Given the glaring disparities in access to care and patient outcomes that so many were awakened to during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is concerning to me that our state regulators have not maintained a sense of urgency and efficiency in bringing critical care to patients who need it the most.
As a former health care worker, I understand firsthand the many challenges involved in overcoming barriers for underserved communities to accessing quality healthcare. This is especially true for residents in my district on Chicago’s West Side.