Do more people need access to dental insurance?
Uninsured Americans are turning to emergency rooms nationwide to manage the pain from dental problems, according to a 2010 Health Resources and Services Administration report.
The same report reveals that dental emergencies make up between 1.3 percent and 2.7 percent of all ER visits.
Although that number might seem like only a small percentage, Alan Sorkey, a Louisiana emergency physician, pointed out to USAToday that he treated 226 of the 6,336 patients for toothaches last year.
These dental care-related ER visits create higher costs for taxpayers because many of these dental patients return to the ER two or more times per dental problem to manage their symptoms, according to the ADA. And, while the Affordable Care Act addresses dental care for children on Medicaid, the requirement doesn’t exist for adults, ADA spokesman Robert Raible told USAToday.
The ADA is currently working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to devise an approach to get “broader and deeper numbers and look at key indicators for solutions,” ADA President William Calnon said.
What are your thoughts on this growing dental insurance issue?