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.

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As a new patient I went to Gentle Dental at the recommendation of my wife. Going to a new dentist can be hard, but my experience at Gentle Dental has been great. They did not shame you for having bad […]
Joshua S.
I really appreciate the kindness of the staff.
Tamara W.
Great place
Ayana P.
Finding a good dentist is no easy task, especially when you’re searching for a new one. Dr. Mangal is one of the best dentists I’ve been to and I’m very glad that I picked this office. The […]
Deborah D.
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.
Dr. Mangal is a top notch dentist. Makaya…Terry and Brittany are all excellent at what they do. Couldn’t have had a better experience. I enjoy the dentist now! Keep up the great work.
Christopher C.
My first time in this office and Dr. Mangol did an awesome job with my root canal. I felt no pain at all through the procedure. Terry the hygienist was awesome as well. The whole team kenya, […]
Janie K.
I have a strong fear of dentist because of very bad previous experiences. They explained everything thoroughly and were very gentle with the exam. The staff was very friendly and professional.
Valerie L.
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.
I’ve had only good experiences with this location and staff.
Kim S.
I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!! It’s the best to me by far, i recommend everyone to go by and see for yourself!!!! Very kind and highly attentive to any concern dealing with your dental problems and no […]
Tytee M.
My son is 13, he was very scared to have a cavity filled. The dentist talked to him about things he was interested in and calmed his nerves, it was awesome. He never even felt the needle go in his […]
Rebecca R.
The assistant that took care of me was fabulous and sooo kind. The doctor as well.
Jennifer M.
Friendly staff and Gentle
Robert L.
They are really caring and friendly.
Patricia F.
I have been with Gentle Dental for over 20 years– always quality, friendly service.
Chosen T.
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.
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.
Great service!
Christina R.
The dentist was great the assistant was great and honestly the entire staff was great. I was amazed, best dentist office I’ve ever been to I’ll be recommending it to friends. Even got a follow up […]
Corey R.
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