Apple Tree Dental is honored to be featured in a recent video produced by West Central Initiative (WCI) and the Early Childhood Dental Network (ECDN) about the disparities for oral health care for people on Minnesota Health Care Programs (Medical Assistance). It features Apple Tree’s Dr. Ashok Gorrepati, of our Fergus Falls Center, speaking about how critical access dental clinics like Apple Tree are working to provide dental care to those who otherwise would not receive care. The video also features the guardian of a young patient telling the story of this child being turned down by local dentists because she was on medical assistance, and ultimately finding the care she needed at Apple Tree Dental.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, only 23.5% of children enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care Program visited a dentist in the past year. Due to very low reimbursement rates, many dentists cannot afford to take patients on medical assistance. Unfortunately, that means that many patients, including young children, go without care, resulting in big problems for little teeth, especially since the weaker enamel on baby teeth may form cavities faster than on adult teeth.
This disparity is something that the ECDN aims to change. The organization’s two major goals are “to increase access to timely, appropriate, and affordable dental care for children, and to increase oral health awareness and education to children, parents and families to help them understand the importance of good oral health to one’s overall health and well-being.”