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
I didn’t have a long wait and the Dentist was excellent
Darlene D.
Everyone was polite and helpful!….
Jeffraisha H.
Love the team they’re always very kind and patient
Raven J.
Dr. Patel and little Don his assistant was very nice, informative, and patient. Explain everything thoroughly and made me very comfortable. I would recommend this office to anyone. Very satisfied […]
Brandi H.
I was very pleased today!!! Dr. Vineet Also Mohammed made me feel very welcome!!! This dentist office not just all about money if you don’t need something done they will tell you!!! I won’t ever […]
Zarita R.
The Dr. bedside matters is very pleasant he is very attentive to how your feeling throughout what ever type of procedure and he explains very well the pros and cons of what he is doing. His assistant […]
Caressa T.
Very pleasant employees… Been coming here for years and don’t regret my decision. Love this office and staff!
Allen G.
The dentist as assistant were great. They put my daughter at ease.
Tomarra R.
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.
Dr Vineet an his assistant Mahamad treated my mother great….
Payton J.
The staff was very nice. Little Don is the best dental assistant I could’ve asked for and Dr. Patel was very kind and informative. The front staff was respectful but they could pick up the pace of […]
Danielle C.
Everyone was nice an patient….
Nina J.
They made me very comfortable..
Ronald H.
Good staff
Zenia G.
Very nice staff and was very helpful
Tearia S.
Dr. Patel and Don are very efficient. When scheduled for services, you are taken care of in a timely manner. Also he takes the time to explain what he is is doing. I am glad he’s my dentist.
Tracy M.
Great service and polite staff
Teresa V.
Dr. Vinnet and Mohammed did a great job they really took care of me and provided great service.
Darnell N.
Staff was very friendly from the moment I walked in the door. Don, who took my x rays and Dr Oliver were both very polite and attentive Definitely recommend this facility
Ashleigh H.
Very nice place staff was very polite they made me feel vey comfortable. I would recommend them anytime.
Terrence S.
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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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