Sample Dentist LTEs

Sample Letters to the Editor from Dentists:

Use the letters below as templates to help you craft a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. 

Dear editor,

Just about any problem left untreated will cost a lot more to resolve as time goes by. That’s exactly what we see happening across Colorado among the thousands of emergency room patients each year who seek costly, acute care for abscesses and other oral health problems that could have been treated much earlier and more cost-effectively by dentists.

Too often, those seeking help so late are low-income Coloradans who couldn’t afford to see a dentist for preventative care and early intervention. That’s why Gov. John Hickenlooper’s budget proposal to offer a dental coverage benefit to adults on Medicaid could be a real game changer. It not only will provide needed care for an underserved part of our state’s population, but it will also benefit the rest of Colorado’s health care consumers—who ultimately pick up the cost of preventable emergency room visits. By some estimates, $2 million to $5 million could be saved every year by helping low-income Coloradans visit a dentist before they need emergency care.

I’m one of the many dentists in our state who wants to help. A Medicaid dental benefit will enable us to make a difference. For a modest investment in the oral health of low-income adults, we’ll be able to prevent far costlier care in the future. Greater access to dental care assures better overall health among the public in general.

[Dentist’s name]

To the editor:

As a dentist who has served our community for years, I’d like to express my support for Senate Bill 242, pending legislation at the State Capitol that would offer a dental benefit to adults eligible for the state Medicaid program. Championed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, this important step in boosting our state’s oral health can’t come too soon.

Neglected dental care is a significant factor in driving up health care costs across Colorado. Too often, cavities and other routine oral health problems that could be treated effectively and inexpensively through the timely intervention of a dentist are put off—often due to financial limitations. As these problems progress, they often turn into an expensive trip to the local emergency room. In fact, there were up to 39,000 unnecessary emergency room visits last year in our state for dental emergencies. And the costs for those visits inevitably are passed to other consumers through higher health insurance premiums.

By some estimates, $2 million to $5 million could be saved each year by preventing such trips to the emergency room through earlier intervention, which is to say an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure. That’s why the governor’s proposal for an adult Medicaid dental benefit makes so much sense. Investing in dental care now for some of our underserved citizens will improve their overall and oral health—and will help avoid costly emergency room visits down the road.

[Dentist’s name]