Gentle Dental of New Baltimore
35521 23 Mile Road, New Baltimore, MI 48047

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
Monica does a very good job of teeth cleaning, she is very thorough and professional.
Karen H.
Everyone is very nice and professional.
Larry G.
Got me in same day with no appointment and took care of my problem.
Carron R.
I was nervous about replacing a front crown and I feel much better about it now. I love the staff! The front desk person dug deep through my insurance policy to find the lowest out of pocket cost for […]
Erin K.
The staff is always very welcoming and puts me at ease. I appreciate the fact that they don’t try to up sell and don’t recommend treatments that really aren’t needed.
Carol S.
The staff is very nice. I usually do not have to wait very long in the waiting area. If I am going in for just a cleaning the appointment is usually pretty quick.
Heather C.
Always professional, pleasant and I love that the office is open late so I don’t have to miss work for routine dental work.
Anne B.
This is the best dental care I have ever had.
Shirley M.
I had my first appointment last Wednesday and they were all so nice to me. They set up a plan for me and I’m so so excited.
Donna H.
Good office hours, good staff.
Jeffrey A.
Friendly staff.
Karen K.
Nice people
Dawn H.
Monica is always kind and considerate
James D.
great, friendly staff
Elaine F.
Staff is friendly and really make it a pleasant experience.
Ronald S.
The doctor and the staff are very caring and understanding
Garland D.
My hygienist Monica is the best! I wouldn’t have anyone else!!
Susan K.
The staff is very friendly. They do a great job.
Tricia C.
I have referred several friends and the ones who went to Dr Wajeeh were just as happy as I have been.
Stacy R.
The staff, everyone is so nice and friendly. They make you feel welcomed and at ease
Ella H.
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We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

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  • Monday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Thursday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Friday Closed
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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