Gentle Dental at Gratiot Avenue
11180 Gratiot Avenue, Detroit, MI 48213

What does the healthcare reform law mean for dental care?



As the Affordable Care Act continues to be implemented across the U.S., it’s important for people to understand how what this law means for the dental health community. The ACA aims to extend health insurance to all Americans who previously did not qualify or could not afford it. However, dental care does not always fall until the health insurance umbrella. You shouldn’t be ditching your current dental coverage because you think that the government will soon be providing it for free; there are things you need to know about the ACA and dental care.

According to Frontline, more than 100 million Americans do not have access to dental care due to a lack of insurance. The high cost of care without insurance has kept some people away from the dentist for years. However, now that the ACA has been implemented that does not mean that dental care will now be available to everyone in the U.S.

Adults still need coverage
Under the ACA, insurers will have to provide dental care to children starting in 2014, but not to adults. This will still leave the millions of adults in the U.S. that do not have dental insurance struggling to afford basic preventative dental measures.

However, this does not mean that things won’t get better in the dental health community now that the ACA has been passed. For example, the law will provide additional funding to areas that are considered “dental deserts.” These are places where people have to travel extremely far to gain access to a dental health professional, usually in rural areas where dentists do not choose to practice. According to the Kaiser Health Foundation, a little more than 15 percent of the U.S. population lives in a place where there is limited access to dental health professionals.

One suggestion that have been made for how to handle areas of the country where there are few dentists is to expand the role of dental hygienists and dental therapists. The ACA has set aside funds to provide these individuals with more training, so they can perform some of the basic services that dentists do, such as cleaning and cavity drilling.

However, the American Dental Association (ADA) has staunchly disapproved of dental therapists in the past.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the ADA has argued that dental therapists lack the necessary training to perform dental procedures that could have long-term consequences. Furthermore, the organization has argued that these individuals are not qualified to notice the early signs of certain serious oral health issues, such as oral cancer.

President of the ADA Bill Calnon, D.D.S., explain that the hesitancy dentists feel about dental hygienists are purely safety concerns, not because they are worried about competition.

“This is not about dentistry or dentists protecting dentists,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “This is about dentists doing what they feel is the absolute best for the American public … and doing it in a way that maintains the highest level of quality care possible.”

Education is key
Finally, the ACA will also fund programs that teach people about the importance for having proper dental health habits and visiting the dentist regularly. If you brush and floss regularly and visit a dentist twice a year, then you will be far less likely to experience a painful dental health problem that will be expensive to treat.

For now, individuals without dental insurance should look for affordable care options such as discount dental plans and inexpensive dental insurance options, so they can afford the care they need.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Good service
Jimmie M.
They were respectful, understanding, kind, and made my children and I their priority. They made we understood what was happening, what they was going to do with each of my children. They were […]
Dayvon M.
I love the facility and staff my son is very comfortable here
Carl H.
Fast friendly help me out with a lot
Shamika S.
Been a patient for over 20 years.. What more is there to say
Ayden S.
This office is very nice and professional .
Colette J.
Very professional, staff.
Timothy K.
Did a walk-in appointment at this dental office and was amazed about how fast and efficient my visit was! Ive always been a bit wary about dental visits, but thanks to the amazing work from Dr.Z and […]
Jessica P.
I like how everyone welcome me as a new patient. Everyone is really nice and polite.
Brittany F.
Yes I would recommend this dentist office to my family and friends thank you for your good service.
Elliott A.
Dr Z is awesome. The staff is friendly yet professional.
Deana C.
Micheal R.
Timing was quick and the people was so nice. I can’t wait to go again
Sharnee M.
The staff is very kind,the service great and Dr.Z makes sure that you understand the procedures when he see’s you.
Charlene P.
I am the guardian for Marcus Hinton. I had my dentures repaired at your office and was impressed at number of little children you served. Most skipped happily inside for their procedure and skipped […]
Marcus H.
I’m 29 now and I’ve been coming here since I was 5. They’ve been around a long time and this is the only dentist office I’ve ever been to because they’re the only one’s I trust when it […]
Deanna H.
I’ve been taking my kids to this dentist since their very first dental visits. They’re usually out in an hr and a half tops! The staff are normally pleasant. The kids love it and they make them […]
AunDree E.
You guys were awesome
Eijah F.
Everything was done correctly and the people are nice respectful and very helpful
Shamyra G.
Friendly, great environment, and knowledgeable people
Ebony W.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
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We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

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Office Hours
  • Monday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Thursday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Friday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (313) 925-3090
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