WESTERN DENTAL BROADENS SERVICES TO DENTI-CAL PATIENTS FACING PROGRAM CUTBACKS
ORANGE, CALIF. (July 1, 2009) – Western Dental Services, Inc., California’s
neighborhood dentist and one of the nation’s leading dental health maintenance
organizations, announced today that it has instituted a number of measures to help
lower-income individuals, including disabled and elderly adults, continue receiving
quality dental care at affordable prices despite the cutbacks to California’s
Denti-Cal program scheduled to go into effect July 1.
As announced earlier, due to California’s current budget crisis, state lawmakers
have had to make sweeping cutbacks to healthcare and other services, and Denti-Cal,
the dental care segment of the Medi-Cal program, is among those programs that have
been hardest hit. Effective July 1, all optional adult services are being eliminated,
except for necessary extractions, pregnancy related services and services for adults
in skilled nursing or intermediate care facilities. Hence, most adults will no longer
have coverage for oral evaluations for new or established patients, fillings for
cavities, restorations, crowns, and periodontal and other procedures. Children under
the age of 21 will continue to enjoy broad dental benefits coverage under the Denti-Cal
“Millions of people in California are served by the Denti-Cal Program, and
many of them rely on it to help cover costs for basic services such as check-ups
and fillings,” said Louis J. Amendola, D.D.S., Chief Dental Director &
Vice President of Recruiting for Western Dental Services. “We empathize with
them and realize that the elimination of such optional adult services will pose
a real hardship. That’s why we are stepping up our efforts to ensure that
they will be able to continue to receive the treatment they need to maintain healthy
teeth and gums.
“Western Dental’s DCI Plans have been designed as ‘gap’
plans for Denti-Cal patients that allow them to purchase additional services that
they require at reduced rates,” Amendola explained. “This coverage will
allow anyone who needs to have a root canal or a cavity filled to receive that treatment,
rather than have the problem tooth extracted,” he explained.
The DCI Plans cover a wide range of services, including diagnostic and preventive
care, such as X-rays, exams and sealants, fillings, crown and bridge work, oral
surgery, root canals, dentures, cosmetic dentistry, periodontics and orthodontics,
including braces and retainers. Some require no copayment, while other services
are offered at reduced rates.
“Our philosophy at Western Dental is to maintain the health and well-being
of a patient’s teeth and gums without having teeth needlessly extracted,”
said Amendola. “The earlier that problems are detected and treated, the better,”
he added. “Preventive care measures such as regular dental check-ups should
not be denied a patient simply because Denti-Cal coverage is being reduced. If patients
postpone or do without primary oral care, they could run the risk of incurring needless
pain and suffering later, not to mention much higher dental costs to rectify a problem
that has grown worse.”
Amendola also noted that Western Dental offers a variety of convenient and affordable
payment plans for patients, along with low down payments and 0% interest on financing.
“If patients don’t have the financial resources at the present time,
they need not deny themselves needed treatment. A payment plan can be worked out
with convenient installments at zero interest,” he said.
“Over the years, Western Dental has developed a reputation for providing quality
dental care at affordable prices, and for being a good neighbor and friend that
the community can count on,” Amendola noted. “During this current economic
downturn, and particularly in light of the cutbacks to California Denti-Cal patients,
we re-affirm our commitment to the community and pledge to do what we can to help
those in need obtain the dental care they deserve.”
Headquartered in the city of Orange, Calif., Western Dental Services currently operates
more than 200 dental centers throughout California, and affiliated offices in Arizona
and Nevada, many also offering orthodontic treatment.