The California Dental Association applauds the governor’s signature of a new state budget plan that includes the restoration of Adult Denti-Cal services.
The budget provides funding for the restoration of Adult Denti-Cal benefits slated to begin in May 2014, with a proposed annual cost of $77 million to the state budget. The coverage includes preventive care, restorations and full dentures.
“We appreciate the support of Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders, including Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, in recognizing the tremendous need,” said CDA President Lindsey Robinson, DDS. “This is a significant achievement in the effort to restore essential dental services for low-income adults who experience barriers to oral health care.”
Lawmakers cited visits to the CDA Foundation’s free dental clinics, CDA Cares, as a reason for making the restoration of Adult Denti-Cal a priority. Since 2012, three CDA Cares clinics have provided free oral health care services to 5,878 patients, some of whom waited in line for days to receive treatment.
Since 2009, after the state eliminated virtually all Adult Denti-Cal services for 3 million Californians, an increasing number of people have sought emergency dental care at hospitals, which are rarely equipped to provide dental care, and often resort to writing prescriptions for antibiotics and pain. These are temporary and costly actions that do not resolve the underlying disease.
“We look forward to working with the administration to effectively implement Adult Denti-Cal, a vital service that will benefit the health of millions of Californians,” Robinson said.