Each year, thousands of people visit hospital emergency rooms for dental maladies that aren’t life-threatening emergencies.
In fact, a quarter of Americans who have health insurance don’t have dental insurance — which prompts them to go to an emergency room when they have a dental concern.
The resulting effect is longer wait times at emergency rooms and skyrocketing costs for emergency room visits — which the Affordable Care Act is looking to reverse by offering grants to help fund the construction of emergency dental clinics.
According to an August 7 Asbury Park Press article, one such dental clinic that has received this funding is Asbury Park, N.J.’s Dr. Barry D. Elbaum Dental Center at the Monmouth Family Health Center, which will open its expanded practice and emergency dental clinic next month.
The $3.4 million expansion will help uninsured patients receive access to emergency dental care for problems like toothaches, chipped and knocked-out teeth and more.
The expansion of the Elbaum Dental Center will also help lower the number of the 32,000 New Jersey patients who visit hospital emergency rooms for dental emergencies and cost the state’s taxpayers and insurance companies $8.5 million each year, the Asbury Park Press reports.