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  • Medicaid and Dental Insurance

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    Old 09-14-2022, 11:23 AM   #1
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    Medicaid and Dental Insurance

    Hi everyone. New here. I've become so frustrated trying to get dental care that I finally wrote to the ADA and my reps. Any thoughts? Mind you, I've offered to pay, but I still can't get an appoirntment because no one will see a paitent on Medicaid (they can get sued if I pay while on Medicaid). What an ordeal!


    I had a root canal performed on tooth no. 14 about 15 years ago. About a week ago, the filling fell out (and was washed down the drain). I am 58 years old and recently went back to school for a second degree. Although I am a part-time proofreader, my income is very low, and I am currently on Medicaid. In my previous position as a social worker, I was on Delta Dental, which only covered an annual checkup and cleaning.

    I understand that dentists are reluctant to take patients with Medicaid, as they complain that they are not compensated fairly. As a former patient of Delta, I too wondered what was the value of Ďinsuranceí that didnít cover any procedures. The problem with Medicaid is that dentists are hesitant to see Medicaid patients because the patient will not be required to pay anything. On the other hand, the government says that a certain number of dentists must be willing to treat patients with Medicaid. The result mostly il untreated patients as dental offices offer waiting lists of a year or more (a loophole to avoid treating Medicaid patients), emergency room visits because of abscesses that could have been prevented, or inferior treatment (such as extraction over rebuilding and saving the tooth) more befitting poorer nations rather than the United States of America. Additionally, even if a patient like me would opt to pay for extraction by cash, they will have a hard time doing so as dentists can find themselves in legal trouble for accepting payment from patients who were covered under Medicaid.

    While I sympathize with the predicament of dentists who must pay out high costs for treatment and struggle for insurance reimbursement, dentists are medical doctors and obligated to uphold their Hippocratic oath just like any other medical doctor. Our nationís willingness to treat dentistry apart from any other medical specialty is deceptive and unfair to both dentists and patients. It is not difficult to advocate for both dentists and their patients at the same time, though they would normally be at odds with each other. However, dentists have had many decades to assert their authority and demand equal treatment with the rest of the medical profession. I for one consider myself a victim. I have sacrificed a lot to get a masterís degree in science in order to use my skills to combat climate change, and yet I sit here with an aching jaw as I write this because no one will see me. And the more I call around trying to find someone to see me, the more time I waste from my studies.

    I am willing to use whatever skills I have to advocate for better conditions for low-income dental patients. But I cannot accomplish anything alone. To leave people out in cold with dental problems that are only going to get worse, not better, is not who we should be. When dental professionals urge us to seek immediate help, they need to be willing to step up to make sure that help is available to everyone at a cost that all parties can regard as a fair treatment that treats the patient without sacrificing the minimum standards of quality that are available in dental technology today.

    Thank you for reading,

    (My name and address)

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    Old 09-14-2022, 02:06 PM   #2
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    Re: Medicaid and Dental Insurance

    There appear to be some dental schools near you. I would try one of them. They generally have exellent care at a reasonable cost. I know the one here at UAB is and have many friends who have used them.

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    Old 09-18-2022, 12:50 PM   #3
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    Re: Medicaid and Dental Insurance

    I'm afraid all they do is a cleaning. I suppose the nearest are in Boston. I don't have the money for that! No place to stay. I have to study.

    You know what? I have Medicaid and no one will see me. They won't see me even if I offer to pay for fear they'll get into trouble for not accepting my Medicare!

    I'm now starting to get an infection and a swelling gum around the tooth.

    Because of this greedy health care system that gets away with saying that you're mouth isn't a part of your body! I suppose I'll just sit here until it runs its course or I die.

    I've had it. I don't care anymore.

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