Community Read, Author Visit, and Book Signing
Co-sponsored by the Phillip Capozzi, M.D., Library, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Touro College of Dental Medicine
February 22, 2023
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Refreshments at 5:15
Room 407 (TCDM Examination Center) Skyline Building
The moment the reader is introduced to Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old boy who died of an untreated abscessed molar, Mary Otto locks us in with her well-researched, investigative book which includes the historical and present-day reasons for this avoidable event that sadly occurs far too often.
She integrates the origins of dentistry that took place in barber shops with teeth pulling as the only treatment option and its influence on the division between dental care and medical care. She then provides a vivid description of the current socio-political landscape involving Medicaid restrictions, bureaucratic ineligibility, and dental care deserts in many cities and towns across America.
These dental care deserts reveal the inequalities of health care that contribute to disease. But Mary Otto also reveals that from tragedy, dreams are not only formed, but, with professional support, government coordination, and grassroots organization, can come true.
Creative solutions such as the Deamonte Driver Dental Project mobile clinic was born out of this tragedy. It made its first trip in 2010 when it parked in front of the same school where Deamonte had been a student. Inside the vehicle are devoted professionals, hygienists, and staff offering preventative oral health education and care from fluoride varnishes to protective sealants.
Mary Otto has turned up the volume on this once silent epidemic. From it, people are beginning to hear, listen and act. So bring your questions for Mary and Join us on Wednesday, February 22, from 5:15 to 6:30 as the conversation continues. And for additional reading on health disparities browse a selection of our books that are on display in the the library.