As a practicing general dentist for the last 38 years, one of the many joys my profession has given is working with families, watching young people grow becoming adults and then parents themselves.  Getting people of all ages to appreciate the importance of oral health as it relates to our overall health is sometimes challenging; but I’ve always felt that if I could “get you in the door” we can treat you and make a difference.

And this is why I strongly support the efforts of State Reps. Michelle Cook from Torrington and Gary Turco from Newington in co-sponsoring legislation to increase access to dental insurance for young adults 19 – 26.  Their proposed bill (House Bill 5627) would allow families to keep their children or dependents on their dental insurance through the age of 26, which would be similar to current law that allows children to remain on their parents’ medical plan until that same age.

And this policy change will benefit low-to-middle income families the most by increasing their utilization of preventative services and thereby containing and reducing healthcare costs for everyone.  Extending access to a benefit as a young adult transitions into their own career and family responsibilities benefits everyone.  Dental pain is the third most common reason that uninsured 20 – 29-year-olds visit a hospital emergency service and this contributes ever increasing costs to our healthcare systems — costs that could easily be reduced by the passage of this bill.

Creating access to health care and dental care ultimately creates the very best care by preventing problems from getting started. Now that’s something to smile about!

Dr. Marc Craig practices dentistry in Cheshire.

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