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Low-income patients often have to wait months, if not years, for proper dental care due to a lack of dental insurance.
A report from television station WDAF-TV in Kansas highlights the case of Brandon N., a child on Medicaid whose teeth were in such bad condition it was affecting his growth.
"His teeth were so rotten, he couldn't eat," his grandmother told the station, "So he was underdeveloped, he was underweight, and he was really short for his age. He was four and a half, but he was wearing size two clothing."
Brandon's family was unable to find a dentist who would treat him quickly, because most dentists won't take a Medicaid patient - the reimbursements are too low.
The situation is often even worse for adults, according to the report. Kansas adults who are on Medicaid usually are only covered for emergency tooth extractions.
Families who are searching for ways to save money on dental care may want to consider discount dental plans. These plans, an alternative to dental insurance, offer discounts of 10 to 60 percent on most dental procedures.
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