Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dental care in prison is lacking. The word lacking, of course, is nothing more than a euphemism for awful. I am trying to keep these short tips friendly, however, the truth compels me to speak freely. It is awful, and one preparing for a stint through prison would be wise to prepare.

The day after my surrender to Taft Prison Camp I visited with the prison’s dentist. It is required for all new prisoners. In that 1 1/2 minute visit I inquired into a timeline for a teeth cleaning. When the dentist learned that my sentence was only 18-months, she told me not to bother. The waiting list was a year or more. With good time, and halfway house placement, I would serve about that long.

While working my way around the compound I was surprised at how many of my fellow prisoners were toothless. That is correct. Certain dental issues or ailments are not covered by the prison system. Rather than proceed with an expensive procedure, they yank the tooth. Nothing is more important to the institution then saving or making money.

Before surrendering to prison schedule time to see your dentist. Additionally, pay attention to your diet. The sugary foods in the commissary will not only rot your teeth, you will unnecessarily be speeding up the timeline for that inevitable tooth ache. Lastly, floss. The floss they sell you is cheap, odds are it will rip in half, but it gets the job done.

Justin Paperny

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