Gentle Dental at Jefferson Avenue
529 E Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226

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
I went to the Jefferson office with an emergency that my current dentist could not squeeze me in to handle. The hours were convenient and I was able to get in the same day. Everyone was very nice and […]
Linda K.
All of my needs were met! Everyone was extremely polite and friendly. Excellent customer service!
Chanel T.
The entire staff and the doctors were amazing
Breanna B.
I had a great experience with Gentle Dental! Dr. Hanan was very informational, Dr. Tracy took very good care of me even when I kept closing my mouth (not on purpose). I had many laughs with Tiffany […]
Asia C.
My family has been coming here for years. The service is always great!
Damita H.
The customer service was great.
Emma M.
Great experience for the office on Jefferson.. I didn’t have to wait long at all in and out all Employees are professional from Dr to Assistants… This will be my dentist going forward. […]
Deandre L.
I would strongly recommend people go to gentle dental they know what there doing an the staff are very Professional
Shakeea R.
Tonya is an amazing Dental Hygienist. Never before has anyone called to check on my dental comfort after a deep cleaning. She is sweet, gentle and superb. I definitely recommend her and Gentle Dental […]
Kia L.
The staff is wonderful and it did not take long at all this is my new dentist never again will I be afraid of the dentist
Ericka S.
Had a great experience here!!
Matthew E.
Because ‘Gentle Dentle’, they are a top notch denistry center. I tell everybody I know about the company. The staff and atmosphere cannot be beating by anyother facility. They are great […]
Mary W.
My assistant Jakiya was wonderful
Money W.
Very professional and painless and just nice people
Michael R.
I had an emergency and they did their job gentle and easy.
Renee A.
Shanekquah was Excellent in Dealing with me as a “Patient with MAJOR concerns(Fear of doctors.”) Dr. Hanan was great and swift in her services. Tiffany was very professional in explaining […]
Zeek M.
Great service, wonderful staff and care. I consider it a good choice. Jakiya helped me with everything i needed like a friend.
Jay R.
Shanekquah is great! She made me feel very relaxed and calm. Very lovely. Dr. Hanan is real cool. How she speak makes me feel she’s part of the family. For my first visit, this has been a great […]
Christopher S.
I had a very great experience with Tonya.She did a wonderful job on my teeth.She was very kind,clean, efficient & fast.My overall experience is great
RICHY R.
My experience today was purely delightful. Shanekquah Candace, and Dr.Hanan were very efficient. I would refer anyone to visit
Dwight D.
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  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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