WATERVILLE — As MaineCare dental coverage expands across the state, one local dental clinic is sharing more on what changes will be implemented for adults.
MaineCare dental coverage expansion will benefit over 200,000 Mainers. Of those, about 70 MaineCare patients will now have the opportunity to make their smile brighter right at the Waterville Community Dental Center in Oakland.
“This addition, this change will absolutely allow us to provide the same range of services regardless of the insurance coverage,” said Dr. Kailee Williams of Waterville Community Dental Center.
The Waterville Community Dental Center is among the 75 providers who will perform preventative, restorative, and diagnostic care to low-income patients including cleanings, fillings, dentures and other important services.
“These are the services that allow us to do the exam and come up with a diagnosis and really evaluate the teeth and oral health in a comprehensive way so we can treat diseases at early stages rather than seeing things when they are in pain or an emergency that needs to be managed,” said Dr. Williams.
Dr. Williams said the cost of these services was not cheap prior to the expansion.
She said a root canal treatment can be $1,000 in reimbursement or more.
“We would sometimes have to leave root canals because crowns or at least the type of crown that would be placed on top of the root canal previously would not be covered. We would have patients with large fillings and would tell them it would last as long as it can last. Hopefully at some point you will have the funds to put a crown on there,” said Dr. Williams.
More than 93,000 people are currently enrolled with MaineCare.
The bill, which received bipartisan support, was sponsored by Democratic House Speaker Ryan Fecteau. He said it will save the state $17 million a year.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said this expansion will make a difference in improving the health and well-being of low income and elderly Mainers.
“Oral care is just a critical and an essential part of physical health care and mental health care as well as contributing to our Maine residents happiness and ability to participate in our great state,” said Lambrew,.