Native Americans And The American Dental Association Essay

1203 Words 5 Pages
Since the discoverycreation of the United States of America, the Native Americans who once called this land home have been oppressed. They face severe disadvantages when compared to people of other ethnicities in acquiring basic necessities, one of these being dental care. Regardless of their ethnic background, all people should have access to dental care. Unfortunately, this is not the reality in the United States. Millions of Native Americans living on reservations are stifled from receiving the much needed dental care they require, and as a result, Native Americans are disproportionately affected by oral ailments. Tribal sovereignty is defined as the right for an independent tribal authority to govern its members. In regards to dental care, this is the right to train, license, and employ medical professionals. Currently, this system is not working. Native Americans are faced with oral ailments at an alarmingly high rate compared to other ethnic groups, and have limited access to adequate dental care. Due to the lobbying of the American Dental Association, tribes are restricted from accessing affordable dental health aides, and forced to only be able to access expensive dental professionals. Furthermore, the underfunding of the Indian Health Service, the lack of dentists available to employ, and the low population density of Native American tribes intensify the issue.
Alaskan Tribal Members are a prime example of just how difficult it is to provide accessible dental care…

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