Dental care is now inclusive, has been since 1990

 In Freedom Friday, Miscellaneous
Andy Mitchell awakens after he received 23 fillings and eight teeth were extracted following oral surgery at St. Bernard Hospital’s dental clinic. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Imagine having severe mouth pain from cavities but not being able to communicate this with anyone. This was the case for Andy Mitchell, pictured above. Read about his story in an article from Disability Scoop here. So many people with disabilities have limited options when it comes to dental care. Fortunately dentists are no longer permitted to decline care to people with disabilities. But why is this news? The American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA); not to be confused with the American Dental Association (ADA); afforded these protections in 1990. Read this article titled ‘Dentists No Longer Permitted to Turn Away Patients Due to Disabilities‘.

Maybe I am not understanding the ADA, or the ADA. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act:

Sec.36.201 General.

(a) Prohibition of discrimination. No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any private entity who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.

Woman shrugging her shoulders, visibly confused
Visibly confused. Photo credit:

So the ADA (American Dental Association) stated that they would no longer permit dentists to turn away patients due to a disability. They also are aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which already states that dental practices are required to give reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities and must make a reasonable attempt to respond to the request. This is progress.

Now everyone can smile a little bigger.

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