The patient protection and affordable care act: effects on dental care.N Y State Dent J. 2011 Aug-Sep; 77(5):34-8.NY
Health care reform has been a subject of debate long before the presidential campaign of 2008, through the presidential signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on March 23, 2010, and is likely to continue as a topic of discussion well into the future. The effects of this historic reform on the delivery of healthcare and on the economy are subject to speculation. While most people are at least generally aware that access to medical care will be improved in many ways, few people, including many in the dental profession, are aware that this legislation also addresses oral health disparities and access to dental care. It is the purpose of this paper to review how dental care is currently accessed in the United States and where oral health care disparities exist, to suggest approaches to alleviating these disparities and to delineate how the changes in dental policies found in the PPACA hope to address these concerns. The main arguments of organized dentistry, both those in support of and in opposition to the PPACA, are summarized.