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
Thank you Mr. Ward, Ms. B and Dr. Patel for giving me my smile back. Seeing my children’s faces light up was priceless.
Yvette P.
Very nice staff and was very helpful
Tearia S.
Ur service is very good and fast
Jurney W.
The dentist and dental assistant are always awesome and puts me at ease.
Tammi A.
Wonderful service…I was treated by Janice and services was excellent.
Tarsheema P.
I didn’t have a long wait and the Dentist was excellent
Darlene D.
Very welcoming and proffessional ☺
Terrance W.
Serviced immediately ,, good service
Mareon T.
Customer service from the front to the back. No long wait time
June M.
Has been my dental office for years! The staff is always friendly and courteous from front to back! Janice has been one excellent dental specialist for me and my family, outstanding services and a […]
Tarsheema P.
Everyone of the staff is very friendly and help with any concerns
Raven J.
Staff and Doctors were pleasant during my visit.
Madonna C.
Nice and friendly place clean no long wait and trustworthy people Dr Duan and her Assistant tawanna are the best
Jamira D.
Definitely a good place to take the kids, in and out.
AD C.
I think that Doctor P and Donelle make a great Team they get me in and out with no problem Gentle Dental has came along way thanks to them
Alaina H.
The dentist as assistant were great. They put my daughter at ease.
Tomarra R.
Love the team they’re always very kind and patient
Raven J.
convenient location, friendly service.
Linford S.
My son’s was advised as well as myself on the treatment they were given and asked them questions as well as myself.
David I.
Had to get some work done today Dr. Vineet and TaWanna his assistant did amazing job. They were quick, painless ( well not more than what was necessary to get the job done ) and kept my attention off […]
Jamilia T.
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  • Monday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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  • Thursday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Friday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Sunday Closed
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