Gentle Dental of Westland
825 S Wayne Road, Westland, MI 48186

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
The dental hygienists did an excellent job on my teeth.
Dianna E.
Fast and friendly quality service.
Anonymous
Great staff and the hygienist is amazing.
Michele H.
Very professional,friendly. Excellent work thank you!
Anonymous
I was very nervous going in as my teeth were in very poor status; however, Dr. Carpenter and his staff were extremely patient and reassuring along […]
Linda B.
Service was friendly and I was quick to be seen.
Gary T.
My visit was pleasant. I was scared at first but the staff was very friendly.
Megan M.
Good experience, and a nice staff.
Cassandra K.
Polite and professional
Candice M.
The doctor was very patient and informative
Anonymous
I am beyond pleased with the services I received from all of you. I have been mistreated and brushed off by a lot of dentist and you guys took me in […]
Sara C.
I was very pleased with the care, concern and professionalism of the staff. I have referred 2 other people since became a patient.
Anonymous
Great! I was afraid to go to the dentist but my experience was great. I had 4 wisdom teeth pulled. I never had anything but a cleaning so when I […]
Demetria P.
Great, exceeded expectation!
Holli H.
I love Gentle Dentle and Dr. B is the best dentist I ever had in my life and Amber Williams is the best dental assistant and it's a pleasure to have […]
Christine H.
The staff and Dr. B are the best!!!! Always kind and courteous!! Also prompt with getting things done!
Ta'kyla R.
Staff was friendly, informative and very welcoming.
Kenneth L.
October 1,2014 They made me very comfortable and relaxed...didn't know I was getting a tooth pulled that day I was very worried acting like a child […]
Tricia B.
The dental work is great, my only complaint is the waiting time in the waiting room
Anonymous
I was looking for a dentist office that felt like family and not just seeing and treating you as another dollar sign. I know every practice have a […]
Yvonne L.
I really felt welcomed at gentle dental. All the staff were so friendly and then inviting. They made my trip to the dentist comforting-because I was […]
Natalie B.
I was very scared at first but April is the best,she really make's you feel comfortable with her outgoing personality.Very nice smart girl!!!!!
Casey H.
Dr. "B" is an excellent dentist, root canal and crown prep completed with no pain or "discomfort", thank you.
James A.
Everyone was very nice, I had a short wait time, and Dr. B was awesome. They provided me with good information and medications. I feel good tody.
Trevor J.
Quality care from knowledgable staff.
Anonymous
Quality service each visit.
Anonymous
Very satisfied with everything.
Anonymous
I had my first visit to the Dentist on Saturday and it was fun. I am 3 years old and they people who seen me were funny and I want to come back.
Anonymous
Atmosphere was very pleasant
Anonymous
Excellent customer service everyone was very friendly and the dr. Took her time and explained everything to me.
Krystal S.
Words are hard to find to express how comfortable I was made by all the staff at Gentle Dental. It was a very positive experience Thank for taking […]
Karen P.
I was very impressed with the service and how well I was treated.
Yvonne L.
The staff at The Wayne Gentle Dental go above and beyond to satisfy their patients! !! Dr. B is the greatest ever!!!!!!!
Rhonda N.
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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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Office Hours
  • 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 - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Sunday Closed
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  • Phone: (734) 329-5284
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