I was wondering recently why health care does not cover dental work.
My teeth, after all, are part of my body, too. And a very important part, I might add. I like to eat (obviously).
I decided to look this question up on the omnipotent Internet. I found some interesting answers.
For one thing, Medicare doesn't cover much dental work. There is some debate as to whether it covers some, but if it does, it doesn't cover much.
I find this unsettling because an abscessed tooth can kill you just as dead as gangrene in your toe. And we don't have separate digit insurance for those 20-odd items on the body, now do we?
Apparently it would take an act of Congress (for real) to change Medicare so that dental work is a covered service.
One reason I found said that dentistry is not considered medicine, so it isn't covered. However, I consider it medicinal. I mean, root canals are a type of surgery like taking a scope to your knee, isn't it?
There is dental insurance but generally policies do not cover major expenses. I suppose, like all insurance, dental insurance is only there to collect your money, not pay it out for the things you need.
Basically, all health care has become political in the United States, and thus what is or isn't covered depends on who has the most power and the ability to get what they want.
Some of the articles I read indicate that the medical profession didn't want dentists involved, so set about making sure insurance did not cover their services.
However, during my search I discovered that the Affordable Health Care Act passed in 2010 addresses some of the disparity in care for teeth as opposed to other body parts. If you're interested in a long discussion about it, I found a paper here that has a great deal of information.
If you are wondering what prompted this inquiry, the answer is a root canal scheduled for Thursday. I am terrified.
At least we are no longer in the day when one went to the barber shop to get a tooth taken care of. I am grateful for that.