The Affordable Care Act and Dental Care

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has had a lot of press coverage about health coverage but not so much about access to dental care. Newberg dentist Dr. Jennifer McLeod and her team at Newberg Family Dental have learned some important information about how the Affordable Care Act effects dental care for millions of Americans.

Who Gets Dental Care Services Under the ACA?

The Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA, provides health care services for adults and children. Dental care, however, is provided for children only at this point. It is estimated that 1.7 million children will now receive pediatric dental care services who have not had access to them up to this point.

Why Does the ACA Provide Dental Care for Children?

Children – especially those living in poverty – are the least likely to receive foundational dental care services during their formative years. It is estimated that kids across the United States miss up to 52 million hours of school due to dental issues and about a quarter of children attending school have untreated tooth decay.

The ACA wants to change this trend, providing access to dental care for children of all ages that will effect them over their lifetimes.

How To Get Dental Coverage for Children

In the past, it was difficult to compare plans side by side. That, however, has changed with the new marketplaces. Now there is one place to compare insurance plans, including dental care for children.

Be aware that the dental care services are not automatically added. Be sure to put the dental care coverage in the shopping cart so that it is purchased as part of the health coverage plan you choose.

Prevention is Key Regardless of Coverage

It may be surprising, but dental disease is five times more common than asthma. This makes it the most chronic childhood disease, and it most often goes untreated. Prevention is essential when it comes to good dental care for children and adults of all ages.

When purchasing pediatric dental care through the ACA, make sure your plan covers preventive services such as cleanings, x-rays, and routine exams at 100%. Consider communicating with your dentist and his or her office managers to determine what plan might be best and what will save you the most out-of-pocket money in the long run.

One of the ways to help kids have excellent dental care is to practice it at home. Teach kids to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and to floss once a day to get the rest of the plaque that is hard to reach. And, of course, visit Dr. Jennifer McLeod, dentist in Newberg, Oregon at Newberg Family Dental. Call (503) 538-7717 to schedule your appointment!

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