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 hygienist was so nice .
Kylie H.
I love how April takes her time to understand each patient needs to make everyone comfortable, my daughter has special needs and April was very patient with her. I bring all 3 of my daughters to her. […]
Londyn A.
Friendly and positive atmosphere from front to back.
Rhanai G.
The entire staff is very friendly and polite , the ladies up front are AWESOME , The Hygienist is very gentle and personable and does a great job .
JASON B.
Dr.keller and Tammy great service you will love it
Britney H.
My first visit to this office went much better than I anticipated, The staff at the front desk were friendly and attentive when I came in,was taken back right away to a examination room where Ronnie […]
Ron R.
Everyone was very friendly and took good care of my kids.
Ethan W.
I like how they treat my son
David O.
My hygienist Marilyn is the best. She’s such a nice person. Doctor Hanan is nice as well and thorough. The staff is friendly as well. They are what their name says that they are. Gentle!
Crochetah J.
Love the staff
Erika C.
They did a pretty good job.
Curtis P.
This is a nice place to go 4real, everybody was nice and pleasant plus made me feel like family. That made my day getting my teeth cleaned and not feeling pain because the dentist had me listening to […]
L W.
I love this place , they have great customer service and April is so awesome,and Ashley , Lindsay is great , Renee , Tammy , Arron, I love this team. Yeah baby .
Kisha V.
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.
Dr Carpenter and his assistants are the best. Im a big big cry baby due to childhood dentist horror and they took care of me. Thanks everyone on today’s visit, Marilyn too!
Antionice H.
Went for the first time yesterday and it was a very pleasant experience. Dentist was great, and so we’re all of the other staff members. The lady who did my x-rays was really kind.
Angela H.
Very pleasant people. They make sure you are comfortable.
Jessica B.
Love the staff and their professionalism
Jullian C.
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 members, […]
Michele B.
Dr. Abouhassan was gentle and very informative. I would recommend her to anyone.
Shreena P.
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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 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 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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