Dental Articles for Individuals

Dental Articles for Individuals

Taking care of baby teeth

 A child's primary teeth, sometimes called "baby teeth," typically begin to appear when a baby is between six months and one year of age, are as important as the permanent adult teeth. Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

The ADA recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than the child's first birthday. Consider a dental visit at an early age is a "well baby checkup" for the teeth. Besides checking for tooth decay and other potential problems such as thumb-sucking.

 Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

 

 

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Will dental therapists gain acceptance in California?

Dental therapists receive specialized training that allow them to administer local anesthesia, perform x-rays, exams, fill cavities, pull teeth and even perform root canals. With nearly 17 millions children in the country currently lacking basic dental care dental therapists are expected to help fill the existing gap in dental care and coverage.

The majority of the children and their families do not have California dental insurance. They tend to live in areas without enough dentists or they simply can't find members of the dental community who accept Medicaid. Problems accessing dentists in California could grow dramatically in 2014, when millions more children are expected to get dental insurance under the (ACA) Affordable Care Act.

The (ADA) American Dental Association argues that dental therapists aren't adequately trained to perform the major dental work that has typically been performed by fully licensed and trained dentists. Dental lobbies in California are arguing that high school graduates with a few years of training could end up performing delicate procedures with permanent and irreversible consequences if done incorrectly.

The Children's Dental Campaign for the Pew Center on the States, and other research and advocacy groups counter that concerns about insufficient training and substandard quality are completely unfounded and are just an anticipated reaction from dental association groups whose main purpose is to protect the incomes and livelihoods of existing dentists.

They say that the therapists would be properly trained, educated, and supervised to help close the huge and growing gaps in dental care which are causing an oral health disease epidemic across the country today. Nationwide, nearly 830,000 emergency room visits in 2009 were due to preventable dental problems, according to the center. The amount of money, pain, and suffering saved by eliminating most of those visits not to mention the increase in productivity of those effected could make a real difference in thousands of families and businesses across the country.

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Free Dental Day in Alabama

Alabama Family Dental participated in sponsoring its fifth annual free dental services day for individuals and families in Mobile, Alabama who do not have Alabama dental insurance and cannot afford dental care.

Nearly 100 people who did not have Alabama dental insurance participated in the event. Three dentists from the clinic, their hygienists, and assistants provided oral exams, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, and extractions at no cost.

Dr. Jennifer Milazzo of Alabama Family Dental was quoted as saying, "We understand that people's lives may be busy and treatment may be expensive, and we just feel like we need to help people who otherwise can't afford it or get it done."

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services over 108 million American's do not have dental insurance and many of those affected are children who are not receiving basic and fundamental dental care at an early age. Increased access to pediatric dental insurance programs has been a major goal of the (ACA) Affordable Care Act.

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Three million more children could have dental insurance by 2018

A recent ADA News story on the potential effects of the (ACA) Affordable Care Act on dentistry stated that an estimated 3 million children will gain dental benefits by 2018 through health insurance exchanges, roughly a 5 percent increase over the number of children with private benefits currently. 

Beyond the exchanges, more children will benefit through employer-sponsored dental benefits with dependent coverage, "although the number is uncertain at this time," the Association said.  

The law includes pediatric dental coverage in a list of essential health benefits to be provided by small and individual group health plans. The ACA does not address coverage for adult dental benefits. However, some states are looking at adult coverage as a potential optional benefit after the ACA-mandated health benefit exchanges are in place.

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