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Mary Otto's blog posts

posted 05/13/2011

Reaching poor people with dental care means unraveling so many other things, including the isolation, difficult living conditions, fear and other burdens of poverty.

posted 08/01/2010

It has been more than three years since my first report on the death of a homeless Maryland boy from complications of an untreated dental infection was published in The Washington Post.  It was challenging and heartbreaking to write about the death of that gentle boy who I had gotten to know, along with his struggling mother in the last weeks of his life. Yet for me, the larger challenge of understanding the broken oral health care system in Maryland only began with that story.

Mary Otto's Blog

Reaching poor people with dental care means unraveling so many other things, including the... more »
posted 05/13/11
It has been more than three years since my first report on the death of a homeless Maryland boy... more »
posted 08/01/10

Mary Otto's Work

If you want to know how tough someone’s life has been, look inside his mouth. Teeth are made of the hardest substance in the human body. But poverty, neglect and disease can crack them, break them, ruin them. The patients at the SOME dental clinic on O Street NW have been through a lot. Their teeth tell the story.

The Deamonte Driver Dental Project was real. It was here. Yet the job of bringing adequate dental care to the poor children of Prince George's County would not be a simple one. State and national public-health officials have been grappling with the same challenges: to educate both poor people and dentists; to address the historic breach between oral health care and the rest of health care; to confront the vast gaps in the dental public-health system.