Many states are increasing their Medicaid applications to offer dental care to their poorest residents

For months, Carlton Clemons endured crippling ache from a rotting knowledge tooth. He couldn’t sleep, barely ate and relied on painkillers to get by.

The 67-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee, couldn’t afford to see a dentist on the $1,300-a-month his household will get in Social Safety and incapacity funds. So he waited for the state to roll out a program this 12 months that provides dental care to the greater than 650,000 Medicaid recipients like him who’re 21 and older. Tennessee is spending about $75 million yearly on this system.

“Man, I believed I had made it to heaven as a result of the ache was over,” he mentioned after the tooth was pulled in July on the Meharry Medical Faculty Faculty of Dentistry. “After they did pull it out, I used to be so completely happy. I used to be so glad. Every part simply modified after that.”