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

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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My assistant Jakiya was wonderful with a beautiful smile, she made my visit comfortable.
My assistants were amazing. I especially liked Jakiya.
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Best dental experience ever
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I would strongly recommend people go to gentle dental they know what there doing an the staff are very Professional
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Dr. Hanan Is Thorough & Awesome No Complaints
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Jakiya was wonderful, gentle and patient. Job well done.
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Great place friendly people
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Excellent service as always ms Tonya and amber helped me so much
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I was very anxious going in my cap had broke off and I needed it fixed asap,they were very comforting and understanding with my concerns and helped and are still helping through my DENTAL […]
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The staff is always friendly and helpful
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Very friendly excellent customer service highly recommend
Truthseeker89 L.
Rozelle and Dr. Zhang are awesome!!! Great place to visit!! Highly recommend coming here!! They have you in and out with great service!
Faith H.
The dental assistant, Hygienist, and Dentist were are very gentle and kind in their work, and explained everything thoroughly to my 7-year-old daughter before and during the procedure. I felt very […]
Attiyah R.
No pain all was good!
Steven G.
I like the dentist everyone was nice and friendly my dental assistant name is Amber in Doctor Meta was awesome i recommend .
Rayray Y.
My dental assistant Jakiya is wonderful.
Tony B.
My dentle assistant JaKiya was amazing. She was bubbly, professional with a positive attitude and a beautiful smile. I would love more assistants like her anywhere I go. She was very helpful with my […]
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Anthony G.
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Your staff was great and they explain things to me where I could understand them
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We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
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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 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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  • Phone: (313) 879-4769
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