Celebrity dentist says dental inequality leads to anxiety

By DrBicuspid.com staff writers

April 12, 2021 -- A Florida dentist who provides services to NBA and NFL players said in an article on Insider.com that early inequities in dental care can translate into dental anxiety in adult athletes from poor backgrounds.

Dr. Amira Ogunleye of Beautiful Smiles has a client list that includes LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Osi Umenyiora, and Teddy Bridgewater, according to the April 8 report. But professional athletes' fame and careers don't necessarily protect them from anxiety around dental care, especially if they come from poverty. For example, 17% of children from low-income households have untreated cavities in primary teeth -- three times higher than the percentage found in children from households with more financial resources, the article notes.

And untreated dental problems often mean patients have more painful experiences in the dental chair, which can lead to future fear of treatment.

"A lot of individuals, especially in the brown and Black communities, have not had regular access to dental care," Ogunleye said in the article. "A lot of them I found had really bad experiences one way or another growing up, so there's just been this fear, and it leads a lot of people to put it off until it becomes really bad."

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