(USA Today) While government-managed health care programs such as Medicaid pay for emergency room visits for adult enrollees seeking temporary relief from toothaches, tooth abscesses and other dental emergencies, coverage of outpatient dentist office treatment for those problems varies greatly from state to state, according to a 2011 federal Medicaid report.
Federally mandated preventive and other dental care usually ends when Medicaid recipients enter early adulthood. That leaves states to determine whether they will provide dental benefits to adult Medicaid patients and if so, what type and how much.
Ten states — Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Missouri, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington — offer no Medicaid dental benefits to adults, the report shows. The remaining offer a hodgepodge of services that leave many of those adults with inadequate and limited access to dental care, according to the American Dental Association.
Scottsdale Endodontist Dr. Robert Roda tells DNN that providing dental coverage for preventative care and emergencies can prove substantially more cost effective.