The child was scheduled to undergo routine treatment, including the placement of dental crowns and a possible tooth extraction during her appointment, Veronica Rocha reported for the Los Angeles Times. Continue reading
Thanks to progress credited to the Affordable Care Act, only about 11 percent of Americans lack health insurance. Yet approximately a third – more than 100 million – remain dentally uninsured, according to the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP).
Dental coverage was never a major focus of the ACA. Still, some headway has been made in getting oral health benefits to more Americans since its passage. Continue reading
America’s poor children are entitled to dental benefits under Medicaid. But adult dental benefits are considered an optional part of the program, and they vary from state to state.
A small handful of states, including Arizona, offer no adult Medicaid dental benefits at all. But in May, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a budget that includes $1.5 million to cover emergency dental services for adults enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). Continue reading
Professionally applied dental sealants offer effective protection against tooth decay. Moreover, progress has been made over recent decades in getting these useful treatments to kids.
Still, the work is far from done. Overall, fewer than half of American children have received the thin plastic coatings applied to the biting surfaces of newly-erupted molars. Particularly concerning to health officials and oral health advocates is the shortage of sealants among low-income children, who face an elevated risk of disease and suffer from higher rates of untreated decay. Continue reading
Back in 2000, then-Surgeon General David Satcher warned in his landmark “Oral Health in America” report about the nation’s “silent epidemic” of oral disease.
Satcher described the disproportionate burden of untreated disease borne by millions of poor, minority and elderly Americans, the shortage of providers in many communities, the disconnect between dental care and the wider health care system. Continue reading