All the way back in September, the Houston Chronicle released a damning expose, “which shed light on how Texas inmates need to be underweight or suffering from other medical complications to be able to secure a set of dentures.” Apparently, Texas does not think dental care is a medical necessity for inmates in its state.
Even more horrifically, “some [inmates] had their remaining teeth removed after being promised a set, finding out later on they wouldn’t be able to get one. Toothless inmates are forced to drink pureed food or to give their gums a workout.”
Now, however, as Engadget reports, following the September expose, Texas’ state prison system has been rightfully shamed and has therefore agreed to finally begin “providing toothless inmates with 3D printed dentures.”
“It’ll avoid the need to transport prisoners to dental facilities across the state, since technicians can simply scan the mouth of the inmate and then send the images to the 3D printing facility. The process will take weeks instead of months, cutting down wait times significantly.”
There is “an increasing number of elderly offenders within the system, so this 3D printed solution for dentures will be the most efficient and cost-effective one: while the state will have to purchase the 3D printing system for between $50,000 to $100,000, each set of dentures will only cost it $50” after this initial large cost.
Image and Quotes Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle and Engadget