Since the implementation of California’s transformative dental initiatives in 2022, dentists across the state are treating patients who’ve gained benefits through the Medi-Cal expansion, also known as CalAIM.

Medi-Cal patients and dental professionals acquired the following benefits:

  • Simplified online enrollment process
  • Risk assessment bundle in alignment with national care standards
  • More time to carry out services on patients with special needs
  • Lab-processed crowns
  • Assistance with case management for patients with complex medical needs
  • Student loan repayment for dentists who commit to treating Medi-Cal patients

Under the new dental care options, dentists can now treat eligible patients, including people with disabilities and children under the age of seven with silver diamine fluoride, a major tool for combating cavities. Dental offices report positive outcomes and dental health improvements in their patients because of the Medi-Cal enhancements, which have been in effect for almost a year.

The Medi-Cal Dental Program serves nearly 15 million Californians and enrollment increases remain strong, particularly as the state recovered from the pandemic. Between 2017 and 2019, dentists performed an additional 100,000 preventative services to patients new to Medi-Cal.

Here’s a snapshot of CalAIM’s added benefits:

CalHealthCares expands access to dental care through incentives for dentists and physicians who pledge to serve Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Dentists are eligible for up to $300,000 in student loan repayment for five years of service. Grants are also available to practices that agree to a 10-year service commitment.

Additionally, Medi-Cal enrollment moves much more efficiently under the changes.

Providers can complete the patient-enrollment process entirely online through the Provider Application and Validation for Enrollment, which launched in October. The caries risk assessment bundle is added to help assess and manage caries risk and boost preventive care services among the youngest patients up to the age of six.

Dentists treating Medi-Cal patients have more time to render services, through a change in procedure criteria for the treatment of patients with special needs. Eligible patients include people with physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions that at times hinder their ability to receive thorough care.

Patients 21 years and older are eligible for specific laboratory-made crowns on posterior teeth in cases to preserve normal tooth function.

Medi-Cal patients who must see multiple physicians and undergo multiple courses of treatment can receive help in coordinating their complex medical plans through the Medi-Cal expansion. Medi-Cal dental providers initiate referrals for case management services.

The Department of Health Care Services is a good resource to learn more details about how CalAIM is improving public health through benefit gains and incentives.

Dentists who have any questions about these expanded benefits are encouraged to contact us. We are always ready to help.

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