Lifelong dental health is an important part of overall health that regular visits to the office of Evansville dentist Dr. Max Lingo can help you achieve.
But some people in the United States don’t have the awareness or the resources to pursue good dental health, something that the State of California is trying to address.
Sometimes doctors at children’s dental clinics see toddlers with tooth problems so bad they need to have root canals, the California Dental Association reported. Children as young as 2 or 3 years old sometimes are unable to eat because their teeth are rotted, officials said.
California is the state with the highest poverty rate, and tooth decay in children there is worse than the national average. Officials are overhauling the state’s dental health system for low-income Californians to try to combat the problem.
The hope is that pilot programs being launched by Denti-Cal, part of the Medi-Cal health system, will get more kids to go to the dentist for preventive care.
The new system will include an educational campaign streamlined billing, raised payments to dentists and cash incentives for those willing to accept more state patients. The campaign will especially focus on children age 6 and younger.
Medi-Cal covers about one third of Californians and costs the state and federal government more than $100 billion each year, including just under $2 billion for Denti-Cal.
The state has aside money for rate increases for dentists, and has also signed up hundreds more dentists, expanded the number of patients seen by individual providers and placed new emphasis on prevention.
But the state also needs to increase participation rates, Currently, only a third of enrolled children ages 3 and younger had seen a dentist in the previous year.
The main goal of the system overhaul is to establish a dental “home” for patients, where one dentist coordinates care for an individual or family, which can lead to a lifetime of better oral health.