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Letters: Increase in ER dentistry

September 21, 2015 I have been reading your Morning Huddle, which, by the way, I have really liked. There is a debate going on as to why there is such an increase in emergency room dentistry. Nowhere have I seen anyone suggest that it has nothing to do with availability of dental care. It is all about money and convenience. The patients want the care after hours and weekends — a service that I provide but they are required to have money, a subject which seems to find them aghast. When they ask what are they to do, my only suggestion is the emergency room. The hospital can not refuse them treatment — a situation that really is not fair since most of these people have had the problem for weeks if not months and right now they want something done. Thus, if the patient had taken any responsibility for the situation he or she could have had this problem resolved long before it became an emergency. I am really tired of the responsibility and blame being laid on the dentist or the health system when it lies squarely on the patient's shoulders. I would like to see someone at least mention this in the long drawn-out debate about why emergency room visits are increasing.

Ruth Morgan, D.D.S.
Canton, Mississippi