Skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Full Dental Benefits Restored For Adults On Medi-Cal

A patient without medical insurance gets free dental services from volunteer ...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: A patient without medical insurance gets free dental services from volunteer dentists and dental technicians at the Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic inside the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 27, 2010.

Adults with Medi-Cal coverage can now get something they have had to do without: dental care.

State lawmakers have fully restored Denti-Cal benefits as of Jan. 1. They were cut in 2009 during the depths of the recession, and only partially restored in 2014.

The Department of Health Care Services says less than a quarter of adults on Medi-Cal saw a dentist within the last year.

Dr. John Luther, chief dental officer for Western Dental, the state’s largest provider of Denti-Cal benefits, said there is a lot of unmet need.

“Many of the adults that qualify for Denti-Cal can not afford to pay out-of-pocket, so they simply go without. Or they have services that just get them by,” he explained.

Denti-Cal patients can get now a wide array of services, including check-ups, partial dentures and root canals.

The state has also increased rates for many procedures by as much as 40 percent. Officials hope that will encourage more providers to treat Denti-Cal patients.

State lawmakers have fully restored Denti-Cal benefits as of Jan. 1. They were cut in 2009 during the depths of the recession, and only partially restored in 2014.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.