Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores
26210 Harper Avenue, Suite 100, St. Clair Shores, MI 48081

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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Patient Reviews
Such an amazing staff all around. Kathy, Dr. Ascano and Dr. Duan are all so knowledgeable and kind. They made me feel so comfortable even though I was a pain to them and have a crazy fear of the […]
Allissa B.
I would not have brought my son here if my experience was not an easy ome
James B.
I received excellent service!
Christine Y.
Amazing costumer service and an awesome team.
Angelo R.
Dr. Duan is an excellent dentist. I thank her for fixing a dental emergency so quickly a couple days ago. I have been going to this dentist office for a couple years now and everyone has been nice […]
Robert C.
The people who work here are kind and enjoyable. Give them your business. You will have a great experience.
Ryan T.
Professional and courteous front office staff. Respectful technical staff. Everyone seemed happy to see me.
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Super friendly staff from top to bottom.
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Tammy S.
Everyone was friendly and nice!
Sean E.
Great and friendly service
Jallon J.
Awesome care from the whole team!
Cari W.
Dr. Ascano is very caring and personable. He really makes a point to get to know his patients. The staff at Gentle Dental are VERY helpful too!
Satyra J.
This was my first time visiting this Dental office. The staff and Dr. Was great. Dr. Ray was awesome with explaining what was going on with my teeth and why I was having the pain. Ms. Donna was the […]
Jonay B.
It took me over 20years to get to the dentist. If I would have known Dr. Ascano was out there I would have gone sooner. From the very first visit he took all my fears away and made me feel […]
Sandra M.
Best dentist around. Timely and super friendly staff. Dentist is super talented. He saved a tooth that was on the way to having a root canal. And a couple of years later it still feels great. Highly […]
Louis F.
Very gentle and thoroughly explained all the things going on with my teeth. Itemized all costs and explained why I needed certain services. Created a game plan with me instead of dictated a plan. […]
Angel H.
Dr. Duan, Kathy … and the entire staff make you feel relaxed and confident in the fact that you are in the hands of true professionals that care about you.
John P.
Omg I love this dental office. The staff are always nice and professional and dr. Ascano is the best ever!!!
Jalisa H.
Excellent patient care!
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