HOUSTON (AP) — Texas prison system officials are changing system policy to help fit toothless inmates with dentures.

The Houston Chronicle reports the change comes after its disclosure that Texas prison inmates without teeth were routinely denied dentures. The newspaper had reported that state prison policy had said chewing isn’t a medical necessity and that inmates could eat pureed food.

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Dr. Lanette Linthicum, medical director for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, says the prison system wants to see more dentures prescribed.

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The prison system also plans to review denture-related grievances made by inmates over the past year and re-evaluate those inmates who filed complaints. It also will hold training for prison unit dentists to clarify when dentures are necessary and empanel a review board to consider who needs dentures and who doesn’t.


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