Gentle Dental of Warren
29753 Hoover Road, Suite B, Warren, MI 48093

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
Very awesome! Every person I was in contact with was very pleasant. I look forward to returning. Thank you Dr. Dawn and staff.
Naressa P.
Great office and great staff. Dr. Mangal is very passionate and dedicated dentist for all your family’s dental needs. If you wanna keep spreading beautiful smiles this is the place to be at.
Kirat S.
The staff was very prompt and concsrned about the well being of the patient (myself). They explained the condition of my mouth and gave solutions to prevent further damage. The work really fits the […]
Eric H.
Great place
Ayana P.
Staff and Dr. Mangal has excellent work ettiquette. They made me feel comfortable, lessened my anxiety by step by step explanation of what they are doing. Pre-warning of the “pinch” that […]
Mary B.
Dr Harvey Zelesin was amazingly gentle. He knew how nervous i was and he made sure i felt as comfortable as possible. The staff and this doctor were wonderful. I would recommend this office and the […]
Jenny M.
10
Pamela P.
I have been with Gentle Dental for over 20 years– always quality, friendly service.
Chosen T.
Love this place. I have major issues with anxiety when I go to the dentist – needed a deep cleaning and Terry was great! I also needed two fillings replaced and Dr. Mangal was fantastic – […]
Christine C.
Clean environment Dr and Staff was very helpful.
Bonita F.
I have had bad dental experiences over the years that have kept me from returning to the dentist as I should. Dental pain caused me to stop at Gentle Dental in Warren over a year ago. I have been […]
Ron A.
They are really caring and friendly.
Patricia F.
I’ve been coming here for years. Join the DentRite Discount Plan and save money. Great service and smiling faces!!!! Can’t be beat!!!!
Justin C.
Clean, professional and very nice.
Shani E.
I took my very nervous 6 year old here and they were amazing with her. They helped her see that going to the dentist is not that bad. The second time she went there she was still nervous and crying, […]
Stephanie K.
I had an emergency! They took me in with in a half hour. I had an abscess and my face was huge. Gave me antibiotics and pain meds. The only thing I didn’t understand is why he gave me only 12 […]
Helen R.
everyone was super nice… they explained to me in detail what procedures was happening and the reason for their recommendation…also they did not just start pulling teeth like every other […]
Windylin S.
Everyone there made me feel relaxed and that my comfort was important to them extremely nice
Duane T.
Great service, friendly staff.
Rodney W.
I went in to have two teeth pulled which included a wisdom tooth. I did not feel a thing. Staff was very pleasant and explained every thing in detail what was going on before and after care of my […]
ERIC H.
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