Gentle Dental at Grand River Avenue
13874 West Grand River Avenue, Detroit, MI 48227

What does the healthcare reform law mean for dental care?

What-does-the-healthcare-reform-law-mean-for-dental-care

 

As the Affordable Care Act continues to be implemented across the U.S., it’s important for people to understand how what this law means for the dental health community. The ACA aims to extend health insurance to all Americans who previously did not qualify or could not afford it. However, dental care does not always fall until the health insurance umbrella. You shouldn’t be ditching your current dental coverage because you think that the government will soon be providing it for free; there are things you need to know about the ACA and dental care.

According to Frontline, more than 100 million Americans do not have access to dental care due to a lack of insurance. The high cost of care without insurance has kept some people away from the dentist for years. However, now that the ACA has been implemented that does not mean that dental care will now be available to everyone in the U.S.

Adults still need coverage
Under the ACA, insurers will have to provide dental care to children starting in 2014, but not to adults. This will still leave the millions of adults in the U.S. that do not have dental insurance struggling to afford basic preventative dental measures.

However, this does not mean that things won’t get better in the dental health community now that the ACA has been passed. For example, the law will provide additional funding to areas that are considered “dental deserts.” These are places where people have to travel extremely far to gain access to a dental health professional, usually in rural areas where dentists do not choose to practice. According to the Kaiser Health Foundation, a little more than 15 percent of the U.S. population lives in a place where there is limited access to dental health professionals.

One suggestion that have been made for how to handle areas of the country where there are few dentists is to expand the role of dental hygienists and dental therapists. The ACA has set aside funds to provide these individuals with more training, so they can perform some of the basic services that dentists do, such as cleaning and cavity drilling.

However, the American Dental Association (ADA) has staunchly disapproved of dental therapists in the past.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the ADA has argued that dental therapists lack the necessary training to perform dental procedures that could have long-term consequences. Furthermore, the organization has argued that these individuals are not qualified to notice the early signs of certain serious oral health issues, such as oral cancer.

President of the ADA Bill Calnon, D.D.S., explain that the hesitancy dentists feel about dental hygienists are purely safety concerns, not because they are worried about competition.

“This is not about dentistry or dentists protecting dentists,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “This is about dentists doing what they feel is the absolute best for the American public … and doing it in a way that maintains the highest level of quality care possible.”

Education is key
Finally, the ACA will also fund programs that teach people about the importance for having proper dental health habits and visiting the dentist regularly. If you brush and floss regularly and visit a dentist twice a year, then you will be far less likely to experience a painful dental health problem that will be expensive to treat.

For now, individuals without dental insurance should look for affordable care options such as discount dental plans and inexpensive dental insurance options, so they can afford the care they need.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
My experience at Gentle Dental was Great. The staff was nice and caring. I came in to get an extraction and the Dr was very gentle and took his time […]
Latasha S.
The staff at this location is GREAT!
Timothy C.
Great place to go get dental work done.
Shanita S.
It was a pleasant visit.
Zerhonda F.
I have a very good experience I was very nervous and they kept me calm I had 4 teeth that had to be filled and the dentist did it with out me being […]
Estella W.
The service and staff are always great.
Lisa J.
I love it. A little slow. Freezing cold, but nice.
Trena F.
Service and attention to detail be the doctor and the entire support staff was top notch!
William S.
Kind and curtious service.
Anonymous
I love the staff. They treat me like family. I wish every office was like this one.
Dana P.
Thank you for the work that was done on 12-12-2014 I was very very pleased.I appreciate everything.
Donna P.
I always have good experience at Gentle Dental
Tamaris L.
Everyone was very nice and professional and also very helpful. They gave me great advice and told me my options. Doctor Murphy and Toni and Keisha […]
Edward M.
Perfect.
Myreon H.
They lived up to their name, very pleased with my experience.
Lisa J.
I appreciated the kindness and quality of care I received at Gentle Dental. The dentists, techs and staff were all very professional.
Rosalind T.
I want to thank the friendly and professional staff at Gentle Dental for making me want to smile all day for the careful outstanding work they have […]
Latanya P.
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