How U.S. Dental Care Became a National Emergency | Nisarg Patel

Kyle Willis had a toothache. What he didn't have was a job -- or health and dental insurance. Willis, who lived in Cincinnati, first visited a nearby dentist, where he was told one of his wisdom teeth had to be pulled. However, as an unemployed, single father, he had no way to pay for the procedure and decided to endure the pain. Just a few weeks later, Willis developed a headache and the side of his face swelled like a balloon. He went to the Emergency Room, where he was prescribed painkillers, which cost $3, and antibiotics, which cost $27. Unable to afford both, he bought only the painkillers. While he was able to stop the pain over the next few days, the infection spread to his brain and