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
Very clean and respectful
Brittney M.
The hygienist was great! My teeth felt very clean.
Lyric B.
Very professional and kind.
Barbara M.
I was in and out before my appointment time. That’s some awesome service.
Alan C.
Gentle Dental is the perfect name for this office. Thank you Frances Ashley Marilyn Ronnie and the rest of the staff that take their time with their patients. Loving and warm environment.
David M.
They are just a great office and take good care of you.
Sandra O.
Dr and assistant were excellent!
Kelly D.
I had a really good experience with this place. Staff was very helpful and Lindsey was very informative and helpful with explaining my plan to me. I would definitely recommend this place
Maria K.
My daughter and I experienced a good time at gentle dental. The staff members were nice, caring and concerned. It’s a clean, cozy, and welcoming environment. I appreciate all their staff […]
Michele B.
I had great service while there
Dijon M.
The dental hygienist was so nice .
Kylie H.
Love the staff and their professionalism
Jullian C.
April is the best hygienist I’ve ever had. She’s the best. My teeth feel great. Thank you April
Cheryl R.
My hygienist Marilyn is very personal. She made me feel comfortable. She was very thorough in explaining my treatment plan. You can tell that she really enjoys her job. I would definitely recommend […]
Keseanda R.
Friendly and Gentle. Dr. Carpenter and his assistant, as well as the office staff, were all absolutely wonderful!
Rhonda H.
Friendly service
James E.
Service was excellent , seen in a timely manner and staff were so professional and nice… would definitely recommend to others.
Shaye S.
Good care, helpful staff
Maya T.
April is always so through in the cleaning of my teeth. She does an excellent job st keeping my teeth in good condition. om glad she’s back!!!!
Pat M.
They were very fast, and caring and very gentle when they pulled out my tooth
Breanna H.
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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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
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (734) 329-5284
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