General dentists are three times as likely to accept Medicaid as are specialists. In addition, the majority of rural dentists do accept Medicaid, whereas most of their urban and suburban colleagues do not.
“I don’t treat these patients for the money,” said a Rhode Island orthodontist. “I treat them because they are children who need orthodontic care that may influence the rest of their lives. A healthy smile may open the world to them! That’s what we went into this profession for.”
A Minnesota pediatric dentist agreed: “It is an ethical and moral obligation to see these people. It is embarrassing that more of our colleagues do not treat some portion of this population in need.”
“Any dentist would have to be NUTS to accept Medicaid,” offered a Florida dentist. “If you are even suspected of impropriety, say by a disgruntled employee, the Feds can SHUT YOU DOWN. Yes, on suspicion only! They can freeze your assets and shut your practice down. It could be years before you get due process. The risks are truly tremendous. And it’s for a pittance, for pennies on the dollar. I know of one dentist who is in JAIL and lost his license over $8000 in clerical errors over a period of five years! I wouldn’t accept Medicaid if they offered DOUBLE my fees.”
Read more: Dentists Avoid Medicaid