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News & Press: Advocacy

CSPD Opposes Elimination of the Adult Denti-Cal Program

Wednesday, October 1, 2014  
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The California Society of Pediatric Dentistry joins with other state health care and patient advocacy organizations in opposing elimination of adult dental services under the state Medi-Cal program. Oral health is integral to general health and not an optional health service. Eliminating adult dental care will have a profound adverse effect on low-income adults, will immediately increase the cost of emergency medical services delivered in hospitals and physician's offices, and will ultimately result in greater future obligations to the state's general fund as oral conditions worsen without appropriate care. Children served by Medi-Cal will be affected as well:

  • When parents do not maintain at least one annual dental visit, children in their household are 13 times less likely to visit a dentist the same year. Numerous studies confirm that children not receiving annual dental visits, early diagnosis of dental problems, and regular preventive care services such as topical fluoride application and placement of dental sealants (all covered benefits under the Federally-mandated Medicaid childrens program) will experience greater future oral health problems and greater future state funding.
  • There is a demonstrable direct linkage between maternal oral health and the incidence of early childhood dental decay because of the transmissible and communicable nature of the oral bacteria responsible for dental decay.

Members interested in CSPD's public policy stance may view the letters sent to Senate President proTem Darrell Steinberg and Speaker of the Assembly Karen Bass during state budget negotiations.

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