11:06am

Mon March 10, 2014
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Tooth Decay a Major Health Concern for Tennessee Kids

MURFREESBORO, Tenn, (TNS.WMOT)  --  A provision of the Affordable Care Act will likely take a bite out of the most common chronic childhood disease faced by Tennessee children.

Under the new health care plan, commonly referred to as Obamacare, pediatric dental care must be offered as part of a health plan, or optional stand-alone. Dr. Paul Reggiardo with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says childhood tooth decay is a major problem in Tennessee and nationwide.

"We estimate the number at somewhere probably around 16-million children who do not have access to dental benefits. And lack of dental benefits is a real barrier to care for a lot of families and for a lot of children."

As a result of the A-C-A, it's estimated that as many as eight-point-seven million people age 21 and younger will gain dental coverage nationwide by 2018.

A-C-A open enrollment ends March 31st for those shopping for a plan for this year through the health insurance marketplace.