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.

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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.
Very friendly and helpful staff. Took our appointment right on time.
Luciano P.
Good office hours, good staff.
Jeffrey A.
The accommodating and compassionate ways of Dr Wajeeh and his staff
Toni P.
Everyone always greets you with a smile! They are very nice and patient. They do their best to always help you in anyway they can.
Monique R.
Receptionist was very helpful.Gave me a referral for an in network dentist, got me in the system quickly, and also informed me about the great discount program Dentrite. Also assistant and dentist […]
Carron R.
My experience with Gentle Dental has always been fantastic from Angel and Christi at the front desk to Carolyn my hygienist who always makes sure that my teeth are clean and done properly to Dr […]
B L.
Got me in same day with no appointment and took care of my problem.
Carron R.
Dental Hygenist. Very friendly and great lady. She doesnt make parients feel judged which was an issue in the past at other dental offices
Justin F.
The dentist was very great with my teenage anxious daughter getting her first fillings.
Nicole S.
Friendly staff, clean office and just an all-around excellent dentist office!
Marie W.
friendly prompt service
Gary R.
Excellent service & friendly people.
Susan F.
Staff is friendly and really make it a pleasant experience.
Ronald S.
This office has really come through for my family and me when we had emergency dental needs. The doctor makes sure whatever needs doing gets done right, and makes right anything that isn’t perfect […]
Catherine N.
My hygienist Monica is the best! I wouldn’t have anyone else!!
Susan K.
I loved how i was treated. My experience was completely pain free. I wasn’t pressured to have unneeded dental work. My treatment options were explained patiently and thoroughly.
Constance S.
Just how friendly the staff are and how gentle they are when working on your teeth.
Michele S.
This is the best dental care I have ever had.
Shirley M.
I didn’t think I could do much with how bad my teeth have become but I am slowly getting better. They have even helped with getting me the best cost with my insurance.
Mark B.
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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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  • Tuesday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Thursday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
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