Lawmakers push for expanded dental coverage

Dental pain is one of the key reasons patients end up in the emergency room.

BOSTON (WWLP) – Advocates with Health Care For All gathered at the State House on Tuesday, to address barriers that Massachusetts residents face when trying to access dental services.

They are calling on the state to expand access to oral health care, saying that these services remain out of reach for many residents.

A toothache may seem minor, but without proper care, it could affect other areas of your health and send you to the hospital.

According to the Health Policy Commission, dental pain is one of the key reasons patients end up in the emergency room.

Massachusetts is the first state to have an oral health caucus in its legislature seeking to address these issues.

“Oral health really relates to overall health,” South Hadley State Rep. John Sciback told 22News. “People who have oral health problems, if they’re not taken care of, sometimes have other problems.”

Lawmakers told 22News they’re trying to bring back dental coverage in MassHealth, services that were eliminated during past budget cuts.