Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice | Voter Guide

California’s Dental Program Gains Patients While Losing Dentists

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Flickr / locomomo

A dentist treats a child in this undated photo.

A new state review of the Denti-Cal program, shows between 2009 and 2014, the number of children enrolled in the Denti-Cal program increased by nearly 40 percent.

California's dental program for the poor is falling short.

A new state review of the Denti-Cal program, shows between 2009 and 2014, the number of children enrolled in the Denti-Cal program increased by nearly 40 percent.

But the number of dentists who treated Denti-Cal patients decreased by almost 14 percent.

Denti-Cal pays less than one-third of the commercial insurance rate.

Jenny Kattlove, programs director of The Children's Partnership, a nonprofit advocacy group, said dentists who treat kids with Denti-Cal coverage take a financial hit.

“The state really needs to look at its priorities and set rates higher, so that it can attract enough quality providers," Kattlove said.

State lawmakers recently reversed a ten percent Denti-Cal pay cut that took effect in 2013. But the California Dental Association says if the state wants to get more dentists in the program, it needs to increase Denti-Cal rates.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.