Pittsfield - The Berkshire County Legislative Delegation is pleased to announce that on March 1, 2014 MassHealth coverage will be restored for dental procedures for more than 800,000 low-income adults across the Commonwealth, including 120,000 senior citizens and 180,000 people with disabilities.
Healthy smiles lead to more opportunities in the workplace and less time lost by students in schools. Good oral health prevents early tooth loss, promotes self-esteem, improves social interaction and raises the quality of life.
Cuts made to the MassHealth adult dental program in 2010 limited access to proper oral health care for Massachusetts’ most vulnerable residents. Oral health care is a crucial function of maintaining overall good health: poor oral health has been linked to Diabetes, Heart Disease and Osteoporosis, and new studies are underway looking at connections with Arthritis, Lung Diseases and Obesity.
Currently the MassHealth dental program provides cleaning, screenings, extractions and very limited fillings, for just the front teeth. Beginning March 1st, MassHealth patients will begin to receive more complete care of all teeth resulting in fewer infections, fewer extractions and fewer people utilizing very busy and costly emergency rooms for dental care.
Restoring this coverage has been a joint priority of the Berkshire Delegation, comprised of State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) and State Representatives Gailanne M. Cariddi (D- North Adams), Paul W. Mark (D- Peru), Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D- Pittsfield) and Wm. “Smitty” Pignatelli (D- Lenox).