Why has dental care become so expensive?

This is mainly due to the nature of the coverage. When designing benefit packages, private employers and the federal government place low priority on dental coverage, especially since the cost of providing health insurance has skyrocketed. For employees, this means sharing the costs of high copayments, even for people with good insurance plans. About 10 percent of private dental coverage isn't safe at all, but rather a discount plan more akin to buying at Costco.

Patients pay a membership fee, and when they go to a participating dentist, they pay a discounted rate. Even the other 90 percent, some argue, doesn't fit the standard definition of insurance. Medicare, as mentioned above, doesn't cover dental care, except in some unusual circumstances. There are a lot of magazines in English and dental brochures with images of white, happy and smiling faces.

Between 60 and 80% of what a patient pays goes towards the expenses of running a modern dental office. It's a proposal that Pablo makes dozens, maybe hundreds of times a day, to tens of thousands of dental refugees who cross the border in Yuma, Arizona, every year in search of the affordable dental care they only dream of at home. Thousands of RV enthusiasts are avid visitors to Molar City, so much so that the nearby casino has worthwhile RV parking for soccer fields and an hourly shuttle bus to transport visitors between their dental visits and slot machines. Obamacare expanded dental coverage requirements for children, but did not require insurance for everyone.

Not even Trump's much-vaunted border wall or attempts to strengthen border security seem to deter Americans from migrating south to undergo dental work. A large proportion are veterans of the U.S. Military, few of whom have dental insurance or receive dental care through the Veterans Health Administration. Maria Howell, a Texas-based dentist and spokeswoman for the American Dental Association, says the group is not opposed to Americans going to Molar City for work.

They have done this in part through a dental benefit structure that is much more punitive for those patients who waste time on prevention, or for whom prevention fails, than health insurers usually contemplate. Just like in healthcare, figuring out in advance how much you'll have to pay out-of-pocket for dental work can be nearly impossible. In the long run, biannual dental cleanings cost a lot, much less than tooth extractions, crowns, and root canals, which can cost thousands of dollars. Visited by 1.7 million guests each year, the 166-room casino has become a perfect destination for dental refugees.

In the three decades since dental insurance has become commonplace, it has never been a major part of any of the healthcare reform efforts that Democrats or Republicans have undertaken. Americans understand how expensive dental care has become, which partially explains why only 36 percent of all adults in the United States must visit a dentist this year and why, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, one in four non-elderly Americans has untreated tooth decay. In the U.S. In the US, there is a lot of talk about why medical and dental care is too expensive for the average patient.

LaDonna Byrne
LaDonna Byrne

Travel specialist. Extreme social media nerd. Hardcore beer expert. Avid pop culture fan. . Food maven.

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