Donated Dental Arizona

AHCCCS No Longer Pays for Emergency Tooth Pulling

There is no Arizona Medicaid coverage for emergency dental care for adults - not even a simple tooth extraction for a abscessed tooth. Penny wise and dollar foolish - an uninsured adult in desperation goes to the hospital emergency room when the untreated tooth abscess weakens the body's immune system and becomes life-threatening.

A very basic and simple tooth pull becomes an expensive medical bill paid for by the state of Arizona and therefore more money is being spent - not saved. Draconian budget cuts cost more for Arizona in the end.

An abscessed tooth is a pus filled infection of the mouth than needs to be pulled out and if left untreated - those with compromised immune systems may develop life-threatening medical problems. Seaberg, Tennessee College of Medicine dean said " The uninsured are often probably sicker when they go in, because they do wait to see a doctor ."[A]

Marvin wrote " Last week, i had a patient with an infected wisdom tooth, it was about to obstruct his airway....We had to emergently intubate him.
Bad buccal hygiene, so can any kind of teeth infection. can lead to endocarditis also, that is a heart infection. How bad is that!!! "[B]

AHCCCS has cut off emergency tooth extraction coverage since October 31, 2010. Arizona AHCCCS covers services are " only those required by federal law. As a result, AHCCCS enrollees would no longer receive benefits such as emergency dental services ."[C] On April Fool's Day 2011, AHCCCS will reduce payments of covered services by 5%.

What does an uninsured person do in a dental emergency?

Going to Mexico for cheap dental work is the borderlands option for those with transportation and the proper documents to re-enter the United States. For the rest of the uninsured there are few options.

Reduced Fee and AHCCCS Dental Clinics in Arizona is sponsored by the Donated Dental Services Arizona Dental Foundation but the waiting list is three years and unable to respond quickly enough to emergency dental extractions. Eligibility is limited to over 65 or are on SSDI," or are medically compromised (i.e., transplant waiting lists), and lack adequate income to pay for needed dental care or have no dental insurance. " [D]

General Dental located in Sierra Vista, AZ gives a $30 discount on emergency extractions for those under AHCCCS. They charge $90 for an emergency tooth extraction instead of $120. Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc in Elfrida, AZ has sliding scale fees but won't give prices over the phone.

The following dental schools may have clinics where students are able to practice basic tooth care.

Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health • Mesa • 480-219-6000 www.atsu.edu
Midwestern University • Phoenix • 623-572-3800 www.midwestern.edu
Arizona State University (ASU) • Tempe • 480-965-9011 www.asu.edu
University of Arizona (UofA) • Tucson • 520-626-7241 www.arizona.edu
Dave Pratt Dental Clinic in Phoenix, AZ (602) 271-9961services uninsured children only.

References

[A]Health Insurance "Health Insurance Uninsured Drive Up Hospital Costs" 10.06.2010
[B]Marvin, "If a tooth abscess goes untreated, what damage can it do?" 2006
[C] FY 2011 Budget Fact Sheet/3, "Optional AHCCCS Services " 02.2010
[D] Donated Dental Services, " application" 05.26.2006

Smoky Mountain Urgent Care, "Treatment For Dental Abscess (Tooth Infection)"12. 22.2010
Dental Health Magazine Staff, "Abscessed Tooth Complications and Dangers" 6.27.2008
Palmeri & Wechsler, "Medicaid Pushes U.S. States Off 'Cliff' as Governors Seek Cuts" 12.21.2010

Nephew of Bootsy Collins Dies of Tooth Infection: Could Not Afford Medicine

The 24-year-old nephew of musician Bootsy Collins has died at the University Hospital in Cincinnati after a tooth infection spread to his brain.

March 2015 UPDATE Tucson Area

Health Net GOLD Benefits $50/month that covers major dental work.

Health Net Ruby 4 (HMO) for those on Medicare Part D has two optional additional coverages. The Gold option covers advanced periodontal disease treatment. Out of the list of so-called 39 periodontists, I have arranged below by name that practice in several offices. Not having a steady office is a sign that the periodontist is not so good.

Although I now have dental insurance that advanced periodontal disease treatment covers periodontics, the choices are not so good for me since none that are in-network for Health Net Ruby 4 (HMO) Gold Benefits are within 70 miles of where I live. The list of periodontists are all in Tucson. I looked up each and every one on the Arizona Board of Dental Examiners for any complaints. Then I looked for consumer driven reviews. I hope this list helps in your decision as to which periodontist to go to.

Scale is 1 to 5 with 5 being the best as in a 5 star rating.

There are no disciplinary actions Rating: 5 - ‎33 votes BUT it was more on Dr. Krivitsky (husband/wife team), IN LOS ANGELES and not in Tucson
21 AALAM, ALEXANDERE AN ELEGANT SMILE DENTISTRY
30 AALAM, ALEXANDERE (no office)
36 AALAM, ALEXANDERE AN ELEGANT SMILE DENTISTRY

There are no disciplinary actions Rating: 5 - ‎2 votes
18 CAPPS, JOSEPH W. BROADWAY SMILES DENTISTRY & ORTHODONTICS
33 CAPPS, JOSEPH W.ORACLE MODERN DENTISTRY & ORTHODONTICS

There are no disciplinary actions Rating: 4.5 12 votes
27 D'ANIELLO, JOSEPH N. (no office)

There are no disciplinary actions Rating: 4.5 - ‎4 votes
9 POIDMORE, KHRISTI R. VALLEAALAM*Y ENDODONTIC SPECIALTY GROUP

There are no disciplinary actions Rating: 4.5 - ‎2 votes
17 BECKER, WILLIAM (no office)

There are no disciplinary actions NO RATINGS FOUND
4 ADASHEK, SCOTT D. VALLEY ENDODONTIC SPECIALTY GROUP
16 ADASHEK, SCOTT D. (no office)
31 ADASHEK, SCOTT D. AN ELEGANT SMILE DENTISTRY
37 ADASHEK, SCOTT D. AN ELEGANT SMILE DENTISTRY
23 ADASHEK, SCOTT D. AN ELEGANT SMILE DENTISTRY

There are no disciplinary actions NO RATINGS FOUND
7 ISKANDAR, IRMA WESTERN DENTAL BROADWAY
26 ISKANDAR, IRMA PERFECT TEETH
29 ISKANDAR, IRMA PERFECT TEETH - ABC PC
34 ISKANDAR, IRMA WESTERN DENTALRating:

There are no disciplinary actions NO RATINGS FOUND
8 LEE, SUNG JONATHAN WESTERN DENTAL BROADWAY
38 LEE, SUNG JONATHAN SURGICAL CENTER FOR PERIODONTICS & IMPLANT

There are no disciplinary actions SINGLE RECOMMENDATION ON WEBSITE
5 BERNARD, GARY F. WESTERN DENTAL BROADWAY
32 BERNARD, GARY F. WESTERN DENTAL

There are no disciplinary actions Rating: 3.8 - ‎6 votes
1 MATA, XAVIER A. - RITA RANCH DENTAL GROUP & ORTHONDONTICS
3 MATA, XAVIER A. SAHUARITA MODERN DENTISTRY & ORTHODONTICS
15 MATA, XAVIER A. SABINO SMILES AND ORTHODONTICS

There are no disciplinary actions Rating: 3.5 - ‎3 votes
10 UNGER, ERIK M. WESTERN DENTAL BROADWAY
35 UNGER, ERIK M.WESTERN DENTAL

There are no disciplinary actions Rating: 3.5 - ‎2 votes
6 GOLOB-DEEB, JANINA G. VALLEY ENDODONTIC SPECIALTY GROUP
13 GOLOB-DEEB, JANINA G.GENTLE DENTAL TRI POINTE

There are no disciplinary actions Rating: 2.5 - ‎2 votes/Rating: 1 - ‎2 votes
11 DEEB, GEORGE E. GENTLE DENTAL TRI POINTE
12 DEEB, GEORGE E. SOUTHERN ARIZONA DENTAL SPECIALTIES
19 DEEB, GEORGE E. GENTLE DENTAL BROADWAY 5311 E BROADWAY BLVD

There are no disciplinary actions NO RATINGS FOUND
20 DEEB, JANINA G. GENTLE DENTAL BROADWAY 5311 E BROADWAY BLVD

There are no disciplinary actions RATING = 1 - 1 vote
22 DEEB, ANDREW E. PERFECT TEETH
24 DEEB, ANDREW E. ANDREW E DEEB DMD MS
28 DEEB, ANDREW E. PERFECT TEETH

COMPLAINT Arizona Board of Dental Examiners: consent agreement
25 HONIGMAN, ALLEN S.AN ELEGANT SMILE DENTISTRY

COMPLAINT Arizona Board of Dental Examiners: $8,000 restitution payment
2 MADI, SHAHIN SAHUARITA MODERN DENTISTRY & ORTHODONTICS
39 MADI, SHAHIN ORACLE SMILE DENTAL GROUP
14 MADI, SHAHIN SABINO SMILES AND ORTHODONTICS

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Comments 11 comments

Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis

Your question is basically, how do the uninsured get preventative dental care? Makes so much sense for people to go to the dentist before the emergency room. We all pay more for health care in part because of these situations. A $5 needle is billed as $200 to cover costs. So why are the Republicans going to vote to repeal the health care bill? And isn't Arizona also the state where they suspended organ transplants, effectively allowing people who were just about ready to get life-saving surgery to face death?


ptosis profile image

ptosis 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Jeff May: Thanks for the comment. Arizona did cut off transplants and yes people are dying. For 2011 going to recut even more.....AND Government workers will no longer have to take unpaid furlough days off. Balancing the budget on corpses so that Government workers don't feel the pinch......How selfish is that?

http://www.svherald.com/content/news/2011/01/15/me...

“It’s more abandonment of people who have real, legitimate needs. It’s also bad for the economy,” said Tim Schmaltz, .....Unpaid furlough days for Arizona state employees would be a thing of the past ... being achieved through other means should allow discontinuation of the furlough program."

Yup - Protect the government workers - screw the people.


medor profile image

medor 5 years ago from Michigan, USA

Oh Politics stink eah... i love your writing... keep going. You are clear, personal and your passion for the topics stands out in a very positive and caring light. Keep writing... i will keep reading...


ptosis profile image

ptosis 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks Medor - my friend is on ACCHS - and now AZ is trying to get a waiver from an Arizona a voter-approved measure. "effectively overturns a 2000 initiative which requires the state to provide free care for everyone below the federal poverty level, about $18,300 a year for a family of three ... The problem for Arizona is that last year's federal health care law requires states to maintain the Medicaid programs they had the day the president signed the bill or lose all Medicaid funds, about $7 billion a year. Brewer acknowledged there is no guarantee Arizona can get the waiver she is being authorized to seek.

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/politics/...

"It is notable that the governor was apparently able to find enough “available” money in her budget to cover increased spending for the state’s prisons, despite the current fiscal crisis ... So the idea that a voter mandated program can be ignored while non-mandated ones are funded seems illogical. The real issue here seems to be what state officials see as important rather that what voters see as important." - http://www.yumasun.com/opinion/budgeting-67040-too...


Single Mom 5 years ago

I am a single mother of two daughters who is on AHCCES, I have an infected wisdom tooth. The whole right side of my face is in excruciating pain, not to mention my head pounding as well do to this infection.I had a part time job through a temporary agency, and was going to have the tooth pulled,but I am out of work due to no opportunities, and I have no money to pay for the needed extraction. I am actively seeking employement, but nothing yet. I am in horrific pain!! Anyone have any suggestions or advise for help. Pleeease!!!


ptosis profile image

ptosis 5 years ago from Arizona Author

To Single Mom: Gabrielle Giffords office can only assist you with federal issues. I don't know who can help you on local issues other than the links I have in the article. If you live in PHX or Tucson - your choices for free dental help are more than rural.

Hopefully, you are near a town that is large enough for possible services - BTW - some Dentists have loans for dental work.

Dentist will NOT work on infected tooth until infection goes down. Your regular doctor can prescribe this while you hunt for dental freedbie. Good Luck.


Chomper51887 5 years ago

Hi I was on AHCCCS, and then I moved about 10 miles down the road to mesa. I filed my change of address, gave them all the other documentation they needed also. Before leaving, I confirmed 3 times that "no, I don't need to come back because this (the paperwork I provided)is all that they needed." Just 2 days later, I got a letter in the mail saying my insurance was cancelled and I no longer had AHCCCS. Immediately, I went in to the office and a filed a request for a fair rights hearing, which they lost and have no record of. Fast forward about 3 months, and I am trying to decide whether I should go to the hospital or not...I have been having painful ovarian cysts for about 3 years or so and, for the most part, I am able to differentiate between the pain associated with my period and the pain from the cysts. Before last night, the pain would always come and go but still very painful, yes. Starting last night though, suddenly I felt minor pain that was becoming increasingly worse (but I would describe as dull, achy, and constant) till I just had to take some tylenolPM just to go to bed. Now it is the next day and since I woke up, once it has gotten increasingly worse. I dont know if I ruptured it or not. I have no job, no money, no insurance, and I am a full-time student. I just wanted to know if you or any of the readers know of anywhere that would check it out for me possibly for free in the mesa area? I am furious with ahcccs and next year I will finally have waited the 7 years that it takes to get unpaind medical bills off my credit from my last hospital visit, and now this... should i go to the hospital or urgent care or just suffer???


ptosis profile image

ptosis 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Chomper51887 - I wish I can write directly to you to give you the following information:

Tim Hogan, an attorney with the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest is prepared to file suit as soon as he can find a plaintiff who is willing to fight.

Over burdensome bureaucratic B.S. - I would call direct to PHX and get you local congress representative to help with this.

Good luck.


Linda Hernandez 4 years ago

I am a 51 year old female on disabiity, can't get supplement insurance in Az because of my age, so I get stuck paying outragious medical bills, I need to have my teeth done they are terribe, broken, in pain, cracked and don't know what to do? I can't afford dental insurance because I am always paying medical, had back surgery, knee surgery, need hip replacements, and having another back surgery, always going in for injections, on meds all the time, had both hands operated on, I am tired of being on pills, I want my life back when it made since, I feel more like 80 than 51, now is hwen I am suppose to enjoy my life, not be in pain all the time, need to have my teeth done before my health declines more! I heard that some dental schools will do your teeth for free is that true? Please help any advise?


ptosis profile image

ptosis 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Yes Linda there are schools that do dental but each has its on admissions and LONG waiting list in Phoenix Tucson. If live near the borders of other states or Mexico then that's the only way because Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)no longer pays for pulling infected tooth although other states such as CA does. The links you are looking for are already in the hub. Good luck. I'm sorry AZ dental care is non-existant.


ptosis profile image

ptosis 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Chiricahua Community Health Centers Mobile Medical Clinic Dental Program (520) 642-2222

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