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Adult Medicaid Patients Turn to ERs for Dental Care

A lack of coverage for dental care has led many adult Medicaid patients with dental needs to go to emergency rooms, according to a USA Today report.

Federally mandated preventive and other dental care typically ends when Medicaid patients enter early adulthood, according to the report. Medicaid pays for adults' ER visits for dental emergencies, but coverage of outpatient dentist office treatment varies by state.

Many adult Medicaid enrollees have thus turned to the ER for dental care. However, ER physicians are not trained to pull teeth or treat other dental problems. In addition, ER visits typically cost Medicaid more than a dentist office visit, according to the report.

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