A child on Medicaid is automatically granted a benefit known as Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment, or EPSDT for short. The benefit is regulated on a state-by-state basis following the federal guidelines and includes comprehensive dental care for children. As such, here are three benefits associated with the EPSDT and how you can get proper dental care for your child.
1. Annual Cleanings
One of the core elements of a child's dental care is an annual cleaning. A dental cleaning goes beyond brushing as plaque and tartar is removed from the teeth, along with a deep cleaning between the teeth and gums. An oral examine can determine any signs of dental problems, especially as adult teeth grow in to replace baby teeth. In addition, a dentist can also determine what care a child should follow at home, including an increase in flossing, mouthwash, or new brushing methods. A child will learn proper brushing methods from a dentist, including proper ways to brush their tongue.
2. Dental Imaging
A part of the annual cleaning often involves dental X-rays. X-rays are essential for determining the formation of smaller cavities and any other oral problems. For example, an older child may need X-rays to see if any wisdom teeth are growing inside the mouth. If, for example, a child has had any tooth or jaw damage, then an X-ray can show the extent of the damage and allow a dentist to take further steps for treatment or care. Many dentists feature digital X-ray technology, so the process is completed quickly. A dentist can showcase the digital files to a child and explain the different teeth they examine and review with the images.
3. Dental Referrals
Another important benefit of EPSDT is the ability for children to receive dental referrals. Along with a regular dentist, a child may need referrals for an orthodontist to help treat different tooth and jaw problems including misalignment of the teeth, large gaps, or jaw pain. If a child has major infections in the gums, then a referral may be needed for a periodontist. The specialist can help with deep cleanings of the teeth and treatments to reverse the impact of gum disease. Not only are referrals covered through Medicaid, but the treatment falls under the federal guidelines to supply care for relief of pain and infections.
With Medicaid dental services, you can start your child off with proper dental care and create lifelong habits to maintain a healthy smile. Contact a Medicaid dentist for more information.