Access to affordable dental care remains a problem for many people across the U.S., which is why it's important for individuals to look into ways that they can get the care they need at a cheaper price, like through a discount dental plan. Recently, the Portland Press Herald published an article by three Maine dentists who wanted to speak on behalf of many dental health professionals in Maine regarding barriers to access affordable dental care in the state.
The dentists explained that all children in the state under the MaineCare program have their dental checkups, fillings, extractions and other services covered, and all but one pediatric dentist in the state accept this plan. However, adults without dental insurance may have more issues accessing care.
According to the dentists, comprehensive dental benefits for adults are not covered by MaineCare. Due to this, many adults in the state end up turning to the emergency room when they experience dental pain. Furthermore, many of them do not have a regular dentist because they can't afford to pay.
The dentists explained that the state could save millions of dollars by moving people away from the emergency rooms and into dental offices to receive the care they need. They recommended that the state change the MaineCare program so that it provides dental care to adults. The dentists added that in May 2017, the University of New England's College of Dental Medicine will graduate its first class of 60-plus dentists educated in Maine. This will mean that there will hopefully be more dentists who are able to provide people with the care they need.
However, adults living in Maine don't have to wait for MaineCare to change in order for them to get the dental services they need. They can look into discount dental plans, which will often offer them coverage for $100 a year or less.
Dental health in Maine
According to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, a 2002 survey found that 4.8 percent of Maine adults between the ages of 25 and 34 and 11.8 percent of those between the ages of 35 and 44 had lost six or more teeth because of tooth decay or gum disease. This a very high number that highlights the need for more affordable dental care options in the state. Having missing teeth can be embarrassing and can make chewing and even speaking difficult, which is why this issue needs to be combated.
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