Fluoridation part of dental access issue

To the editor:

Regarding The Eagle's recent story about the number of Berkshire County residents who end up in the emergency room for dental care, it would be interesting to know if the majority of those visits occurred during the day when dental facilities are open or at night when they're closed.

Furthermore, most of the cities and towns in Western Massachusetts that have community water supplies are still not fluoridated. Fluoride is an important component of any dental health program. It's the single most effective way to prevent cavities.

If the focus is more on prevention, then it would likely reduce the number of visits to emergency rooms by those needing treatment. Prevention of dental disease through community water fluoridation should be a part of every discussion regarding access to care.

John P. Fisher, DDS, Salem The writer is a trustee, Massachusetts Dental Society, and past president, Massachusetts Dental Society.