All the comfort of a home without any of the professionalism or licensing of a real dental establishment. Yikes.
A woman in Waukesha, Wisconsin was caught providing discounted orthodontic treatments from her home earlier this month. Noemi Lares, despite being caught, had managed to successfully turn her home into a functioning dental office. Lares did this all without any of the necessary licenses.
The police were tipped off to Lares’ underground operation after many of her patients sought help from a licensed orthodontist when her treatments resulted in negative side effects. Lares’ patients were experiencing irritation, inflammation and gum disease. When police took to Lares’ home to investigate her living room, or “office,” was scattered with orthodontic tools.
Although the story sounds humorous it draws attention to the seriousness of the growing “Dental Divide” or the gap between people who can afford dental care and those who must live without it. Around the same time Lares’ was caught working out of her home, a group of dentists founded Dentists For Oral Health Innovation, an organization designed to make high-quality, cost-effective dental care more readily available.
The organization published numerous surprising facts about the dental care gap:
- Some states have only 65 dentists to 100,000 people.
- 130 million Americans do not have dental insurance.
- Many Americans do not follow the minimal recommended oral habits because they have never been taught.