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Cost Cutting On Dental Care

Cost Cutting On Dental Care

Californians are in for some tougher life when it comes to dental care. According to Len Finocchio, who is working as a senior program officer in a health advocacy group called California Healthcare Foundation, about one-quarter of all adults and 28% of children in California suffer from dental caries. It is found that a greater number of people in California do not visit a dentist for routine care of their teeth which would cost them about $100 for a checkup and cleaning and later they have to visit an emergency room for getting antibiotic along with a bill that would cost an average of over $600 and further instructions to check with a dentist.

The Foundation reports in a study that was brought out last year that thirty percent people of California have poor or only fair dental health. The main reason cited was the cost of dental care and that includes people with dental insurance. This is because the coverage available through insurance is about half the cost involved for fillings, root canals extractions and tooth implants. In case of minorities, the figures are more striking. According to Harris Interactive poll done in 2007, the percentage of whites reporting poor dental health is 20%, while the figure rises sharply to 40% in case of African Americans and 43% for Latinos. It is also found that while the standard recommendations to see a dentist by an adult for checkups is every six months, near about 30% of all Californians do not see a dentist in over a year; also, the percentage of people that have not visited a dentist or have visited only in more than five years is 10%.

Below is provided information about different places where one can find cheaper dental care in Los Angeles.

Dental Schools

There are three dental schools as well as many dental hygiene schools in the Los Angeles area that that provide cheaper (often free) care for teeth. With the recent recession hitting the economy along with cuts to Medi-cal, there has been an increase of patients with dental problems in these clinics. Hence, it is recommended to make pre-appointments before you come to the clinics.

However according to Stevenson, who is the professor of clinical dentistry at UCLA School of Dentistry, one should pay less if dental care is provided by any student and more if any faculty member is requested to work for you. He further said that students are only permitted to care for your dental care till they are in the third or fourth year of dental school with teachers who have many years of dental experience, alongside for supervision. If a student looks after dental care all by themselves, the fees charged are the lowest. However, the time required for a procedure is three times as that in a private practice.

Community Clinics

There are many community health clinics in California that provide complete range of dental services without charging any fees or according to a sliding scale that is based on the income. The average wait period is 28 days. However, they are about to change with the Dental-Cal cuts that are about to be introduced. It would do well to make calls beforehand to be sure that dental care is provided and also make appointments. If there is an emergency like a severe pain, you can contact these clinics for walk-in appointments.


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