Oral health equity
Oral Health Watch advocates for the continued support of the state’s Apple Health (Medicaid) Adult Dental Program, which provides comprehensive oral health care coverage for lower-income adults. It is an investment in that can make a profound difference in a person’s life, advance the overall health of Washington residents enrolled in Apple Health – many of whom are at increased risk of COVID-19 – and save the state money in the long term.
Oral health care needs don’t go away when coverage is eliminated. In fact, dental problems worsen as cavities, cracked teeth and gum disease go untreated. People who are unable to access routine and preventive dental care often end up in hospital emergency departments, which are costly and are ill-equipped to address underlying causes of dental pain and oral disease, leading to repeat hospital visits and people self-medicating with over-the-counter pain drugs or opioids.
Untreated oral disease can bring about senseless pain and misery, declining health, and economic hardship caused by dental problems worsening to more expensive, emergency care. Aching cavities and visibly missing teeth can affect a person’s general health, employment opportunities, nutrition, self-esteem, military readiness and how others relate to you.
Dental care coverage is essential to maintaining overall health, but it is especially important now – as we face a global health crisis and Washington state moves toward economic recovery. The Apple Health Adult Dental program is a vital part of health coverage and helps to reduce health disparities and promote health equity. Please urge legislators to continue to support the Apple Health adult dental program and tell them that you support wise investments in dental care because dental care coverage is health care coverage by clicking here.
If you or a family member is in need of dental care, click here.