Washington should restore dental care for low-income adults – Oral Health Watch

A recent op-ed in the Everett Herald explores what happens when children and adults do not have adequate access to dental care.  University of Washington physician Jo Jackson and Snohomish dentist Eve Rutherford write that Washington can’t afford to avoid paying for dental care for Medicaid-insured adults.

“Poor oral health is expensive for families, for businesses and for taxpayers. The good news is dental disease is preventable and prevention saves money. Unfortunately when budgets are tight, disease prevention is often one of the first things that is cut.  This is shortsighted.  A failure to provide dental care will ultimately cost far more in the long run.”

Dr. Jackson and Dr. Rutherford go on to say that the Legislature should restore dental care for adults covered by the state’s Medicaid program. With the legislative session just months away, it’s important for lawmakers to consider such cost-effective policy solutions. 

“Preventing dental disease by providing access to timely, effective dental care is a good investment. That is why state policymakers should take action to restore dental coverage for Medicaid-insured adults. The health dividends are significant, and so are the savings. Plus, it is the right thing to do because everyone deserves healthy teeth.”

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Oral Health Watch does not provide dental care and cannot provide direct referrals. To find dental care in your area, please visit our resources page. Please contact Oral Health Watch for more information about our programs and oral health in Washington State