FRONTLINE and the Center for Public Integrity investigate the consequences of the dental care system in America. Research has increasingly shown an intrinsic connection between dental health and overall health. Dental care is not an entitlement in many places in the world. In a world of finite dollars and many competing needs, a civilized society must chose which services it wishes to provide in order to promote public health, and then which dollars should be taken from somewhere else to pay for this. In addition we must think about where prevention responsibility should lie for adults and parents in terms of the diet they choose and inexpensive personal maintenance they can undertake like flossing and cleaning.
Lastly professional “advisors” (dentists, doctors, and yes, investment advisors) must be advisors not product sellers if they are to fulfill their necessary fiduciary duty to put the client’s best interests first. They cannot be the recipient of financial incentives from third party products and credit companies if they are to retain the integrity and impartial judgment needed. We need clear rules to keep sales separate from advising, full stop.