6 ways Congress can improve dental access for patients with disabilities, per ADA

The American Dental Association recently shared several ways Congress can increase access to dental care for patients with disabilities.

The ideas were provided in a Sept. 23 request for information, according to a Sept. 30 news release.

Six notes:

1. In its comments, ADA President Cesar Sabates, DDS, and Executive Director Raymond Cohlmia, DDS, said grant funding is needed to help dental practices add equipment and renovations necessary to increase access for patients with disabilities, because many practices are small businesses that may struggle to pay for these additions.

2. The two executives also noted that funding is needed for mobile dental vans that are specially designed to treat patients with disabilities in rural and underserved areas.

3. The ADA asked Congress to expand Section 741 of the Public Health Service Act to add more funding for dentists and increase the Disabled Access Credit, which small businesses can use to increase accessibility and which currently sits at a maximum $10,250.

4. The organization urged Congress to give grants to support the training of dentists on treating patients with disabilities. 

5. It added that grants should also be provided to help dental practices pay for technology needed to support telehealth and remote patient monitoring such as intraoral cameras and special toothbrushes.

6. The ADA also asked Congress to support the use of community dental health coordinators to help educate patients with disabilities on daily oral health. 

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