Need to get connected to dental care?
The dental resource sheets below have information on different community resources that offer discounts, sliding scale fees, and/or accept Apple Health (Medicaid/Provider One). You can also check out our Contact page to be directed to a WAHA team member who can talk to you about your options for accessing local dental care.
Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD)
ABCD ensures young lower-income children have access to dental care. The ABCD program connects Apple Health (Medicaid) insured children under age six to dental care in their local communities. WAHA manages the local ABCD provides resources and health education on prevention of decay, and connects kids to dentists who are specially trained to work with young children. Kids enrolled in ABCD receive dental exams, fluoride varnish, family oral health education and other dental care as needed. If you would like to enroll your child in ABCD or get help finding a dentist for your children, please visit our Contact page to get in touch with us.
Local ABCD programs connect eligible families with ABCD-certified dentists. To become certified, pediatric and general dentists receive free training and Continuing Dental Education (CDE) credit from the University of Washington School of Dentistry in the clinical and behavioral aspects of caring for young children. Staff also are encouraged to participate in the training because they are key to building successful relationships with families. Once ABCD-certified, dentists are eligible to receive Apple Health (Medicaid) enhanced reimbursements for a range of procedures.
Local ABCD coordinators empower eligible families with information about the benefits of good oral health, home care and the importance of regular dental care. Coordinators also identify transportation, interpretation, and other needs and connect families with resources. The result is a positive experience for families and dental practices – and improved oral health for children. Our Whatcom ABCD Coordinator, is Molly Benedetto, please visit our Contact page to get in touch with us.
Dental Health Insurance
In some cases, buying dental insurance or a dental discount plan may help with some of the costs of your dental care. However, there are some important things to think about before buying a plan. Be sure to weigh the costs and benefits carefully!
Questions to ask yourself before buying a dental plan
1. Do I already have dental coverage?
Washington Apple Health (Medicaid/ProviderOne) now includes dental benefits but finding a provider that accepts adult Medicaid is limited. Some Medicare Advantage Plans, employer-based coverage, and commercial plans may also include dental benefits. Check with your plan!
2. Which dentists participate in which plans?
3. Does the plan have a waiting period?
For some plans, you may have to be enrolled in the plan for at least 6 months to a year to receive certain dental services. This is especially true for major dental services such as root canals, crowns, and dentures.
4. What are the costs for me? Some dental plans may have the following out-of-pocket costs, or more
a. Premium: monthly payment
b. Deductible: the amount of money you must pay before your insurance kicks in
c. Co-pay: a flat rate fee you must pay for dental visits and some services
d. Co-insurance: the percentage of the cost of dental services that you must pay
5. Does the plan have an annual maximum?
a. Many dental plans will only cover up to $1,000 of dental services per year. Some services such as preventative dental may be excluded from your annual maximum.
6. Does the plan have any exclusions?
For example, some plans may not cover replacement of teeth that were missing prior to purchasing their plan.
7. How does the cost of paying for a dental plan compare to paying for dental services on my own?
Check out local dental resources above to see if you can see a provider on a private pay basis or get access to a dental consult with providers who provide new patient discounts.
Average costs of common dental procedures* (American Dental Association’s 2011 Survey of Dental Fees, Pacific Division) *NOTE: These figures are averages only and actual prices may vary depending on specific region, dental clinic, procedure, etc.
• Comprehensive oral evaluation: $79
• Bitewing x-rays (four films): $66
• Prophylaxis (cleaning): $97
• Fillings: $132-$384 (depending on type)
• Extractions: $115-$445 (depending on type)
• Crowns: ~$1,000
• Root canals on a molar: $970
• Complete dentures (upper and lower): $3,048
• Partial dentures (upper and lower): $2,351-$3,255 (depending on type)
Patient Dental Resources
Use these patient resources when communicating with your dentist! Regardless of your dental knowledge and/or the language you communicate in, you should feel comfortable communicating with your family dentist about your dental needs and questions. Feel free to bring visual aids to your dental appointments as your provider explains treatment options and dental needs.