AAPHD Weekly Health Policy Fact

A recent article published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry reported on the effect of Affordable Care Act expansion in Oregon. The state elected to expand oral health services to children and adults, and offered plans with varying levels of non-surgical root canal therapy (NS-RCT) coverage.

  • Children ages 0-20 and pregnant adults over the age of 21 are covered for anterior, premolar, and first molar NS-RCT. Adults over the age of 20, up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, are covered for anterior and premolar NS-RCT.
  • The Oregon Health & Science University Graduate Endodontic Clinic analyzed NS-RCT treatments provided by their clinic pre-Medicaid expansion, and post-Medicaid expansion. They found a 28% increase in the overall number of NS-RCT procedures. For patients that were enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan with the dental benefits, there was a 363% increase in NS-RCT procedures from pre-expansion to post-expansion.
  • Non-surgical root canal therapy is a valuable treatment that allows patients to maintain their natural teeth, as well as prevent the spread of infection. Including this treatment in Medicaid dental benefits can be another important step in reducing the barriers to dental care.
  • Currently, MassHealth does not offer non-surgical root canal therapy in their adult dental benefits.

Here is the article for your reference.