The state House and Senate's decision to reinstate Medicaid dental benefits in the 2011 budget has been praised by the Michigan Dental Association.
The restoration of dental benefits on Medicaid would be effective from October 1. But, the provision has been made only for a year. The problem of funding for dental services will crop up again in future. So, the newly elected members should contemplate over this issue.
The report "A United Voice for Oral Health" released by Michigan Dental Association's Access to Oral Health Care Work Group laid emphasis on the threatening status of dental health in Michigan and outlined the need of educating both the general public and policymakers about the importance of oral health.
It revealed that after three months of scrapping dental benefits from Medicaid in 2003, the visits to emergency room due to dental-related problems surged over 11%. The findings of the report also included that if the oral diseases are treated, they can lead to other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer and treatment to these problems bear heavy costs.
The report laid down 17 recommendations to make oral health care approachable. The recommendations included urge to Michigan to create a funding source for providing dental services to low-income children and adults, partnerships between dentists and other health professionals, increasing awareness about association between oral health and physical health.