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May 1, 2017

A multi-year investigation of the dental health in America has come up with some interesting questions. For example, why is oral health separate from overall health, despite a century of research that says the two ought to be connected? Why do more than half of all dentists not participate in public insurance programs? And why the dramatic increase in emergency visits because of dental problems? On this week’s Perspective program a look at the background of these and many other puzzling questions concerning American dental health.

Guest: Mary Otto, author of Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America. She is also the oral health topic leader for the Association of Health Care Journalists. 

Perspective is a weekly public affairs program hosted by Richard Baker, communications professor at Kansas State University. Perspective has been continuously produced for public radio stations by K-State since the mid-1970s and has included interviews with dignitaries, authors and thought leaders from around the world. Send comments, questions or requests for copies of past programs to