Full dental coverage for adults on MassHealth has waxed and waned since 2002, causing significant decreases in access to effective oral health care. Currently, MassHealth only provides partial adult dental coverage, which leads to needless pain, suffering, and illness. Important dental services that are vital for good oral health and saving teeth are not currently covered by MassHealth. Left untreated, dental disease can lead to systemic infection, hospitalization, and the worsening of other medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Cuts to dental care lead to extensive and costly services in emergency and inpatient hospital settings, which wastes millions of dollars and adds costs to MassHealth and the Health Safety Net.
Oral disease is directly responsible for an estimated 164 million work hours lost each year in the United States. Good oral health enhances MassHealth beneficiaries’ ability to obtain and keep jobs.
Maintaining good oral health and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease, and can help adults keep their teeth as they get older.