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.
Every reason under the sun! Too many to list! The greatest dental office in the world! Caring, sweet, honest, professional, wise, trustworthy, the best bedside manner in the country, top notch, if I […]
Jamie N.
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.
The people who work here are kind and enjoyable. Give them your business. You will have a great experience.
Ryan T.
Dr. Ascano and the staff
Sage J.
The customer service was great, from the moment I arrived all the way to the end. The dentist made my daughter feel very comfortable. The service was excellent and I truly loved it the experience was […]
Gabrielle G.
Dr. Ascano and his entire staff are always so nice that I feel like I’m visiting with friends! They do a wonderful job and are very patient with my daughter. I highly recommend Gentle Dental on […]
Brad B.
Professional and courteous front office staff. Respectful technical staff. Everyone seemed happy to see me.
Anthony L.
Great atmosphere, the staff and dentists were extremely nice and helpful….They are really funny too ….I have my reservation about going to the dentist, but not anymore!!! They are the epitome of […]
MRS E.
This is the best and the funniest ever. My teeth feels wonderful and I am now 10 times more confident to smile in every picture I take. I would give 10 stars if I could because I don’t know what I […]
Douglas A.
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.
I’ve only been going to gentledental/Dr. Ascano for a bit over a year. Not only is he and all the staff very kind (my previous dentist was kind), but he is thoughtful and instills confidence in his […]
Dawn A.
I was referred here by family and I’m very happy I decided to come here! Dr. Duan is such a sweetheart and her team is amazing as well. After having a HORRIBLE experience with my previous dentist, […]
Ashley G.
Dr and staff are awesome.
Catherine C.
You guys are awesome!
Jamie N.
I always have the best dental experience here! They are the nicest and most friendly staff. I always walk out of Gentle Dental in St. Clair Shores with a smile on my face. :)
Lydia K.
Excellent staff. Very thoughtful and thorough. Made me feel welcome.
Charlotte S.
I never thought that I can say that about dental office but I love this place
Jerzy K.
Always so professional yet kind and patient with someone who loathes dental work. I highly recommend Dr. Ascano and his staff.
Jennifer T.
They were very polite. They take good care of you.
Crystal C.
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