When a little girl cannot take a bite of fruit without inciting agony, is it any surprise that she isn't getting enough to eat? Or that she's unable to concentrate in school? That's what Rob Freelove MD, a Kansas family physician, wondered nearly a decade ago, as he began encountering scores of young patients in the throes of tooth decay.
As head of Salina Family Health, he was seeing at least three dental emergencies daily. Prescribing antibiotics and providing pain relief offered a short-term answer, but parents kept telling him "We don't have a dentist.'"