Dental One Associates of Dunwoody
5901-B Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE, Suite 250, Atlanta, GA 30328

What does the healthcare reform law mean for dental care?

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
Fun staff, they don’t mind my jokes. Talkative and conversative. Efficient and punctual. Always thorough yet gentle for cleanings.
Daniel P.
Dr. Thornton is one of the best dentists I have ever been pleased to call “My dentist.” Her skill and patience are topped with a wonderful personality and she has a soft manner and touch […]
Nona L.
The entire staff was friendly, knowledgeable and explained everything about my care and options :-) I was nervous about my appointment and they put all of my fear aside.
Michele O.
Great Service. Very knowledgeable staff. They’re passionate about teeth!
Anthony S.
I hate the going to the dentist but I love this office and the staff!!! They truly treat you like you are the only one they treat!!
Billy M.
Very professional and knowledgeable.
Terrence P.
I had a dental emergency and they got me in there really quickly. Doctor and staff were so nice.
Latrice S.
Great staff great energy within office . dental assistant was very caring and tentative. Felt very comfortable.
Nikki M.
The people there are super friendly! I was so nervous about going to the dentist after having a horrible experience years ago at an office in another state but, the staff and Dr. Thornton made me […]
Stacee P.
Service at a level that is second to none! Awesome staff very friendly and attentive by far the best dental experience I have ever had!
Billy M.
Best. Dental practice. Ever!! This is the best dentist office I have ever been to. The staff is Amazing and make you feel right at home. I have recommended this office to everyone, and will continue […]
Chris R.
Very friendly and caring, didn’t rush through procedures,was very accommodating with schedule, satisfied with work done.
Carmen R.
I’d definitely recommend Dr. Sarah Thornton and her wonderful staff without any hesitation. They are efficient, great at what they do and make sure you are comfortable every step of the way […]
Deepika R.
Great service
Lester L.
Nice, knowledgeable, and friendly staff.
James T.
Staff is awesome.
Nefertiti H.
Everyone was extremely friendly, and I didn’t have wait long to be seen.
Amy B.
The people were all outstanding!
Charles B.
The staff is on top of their game. They are wonderful.
Nefertiti H.
I had a great experience in your office & appreciated the professionalism of the staff.
Elizabeth H.
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 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (404) 381-1490
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