Assemblymember David Chiu speaks is seeking to give dental clinics at public universities access to federal funding to provide dental care for people with disabilities. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Assemblymember David Chiu speaks is seeking to give dental clinics at public universities access to federal funding to provide dental care for people with disabilities. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Chiu bill would expand access to dental care for special needs patients

State Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, announced Wednesday he’s introducing a bill to expand access to dental care for special needs patients throughout California.

Assembly Bill 2146 would allow dental clinics at public universities to have access to federal matching dollars in order to increase access to dental care for people with developmental disabilities and other special health care needs, according to Chiu’s office.

The federal matching dollars would come from an agreement between the schools and the California Department of Health Care Services and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Dental care is such a vital part of maintaining good health, and yet it is so often overlooked in broader health care conversations,” Chiu said in a statement. “The special needs dental clinics at our public universities are a lifeline for many, but they need more resources to increase access and care for our most vulnerable,” he said.

Research shows people with developmental and intellectual disabilities have a disproportionately high rate of dental disease and tooth decay. Also, because they often have special health care needs, many dentists aren’t equipped to provide them with care, leaving people with disabilities few treatment options.

The bill would also help provide dental students with training and aims to increase the number of providers who are able to treat special needs patients.

Currently, there are only six dental school special needs clinics in California. Only two of those clinics are located at public universities, which are the University of California at Los Angeles and University of California at San Francisco.

Bay Area NewsPoliticssan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton announced that funding would be diverted from the police budget toward the black community in June 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City directs $60 million toward Black community services and housing support

San Francisco released new details Thursday for how it plans to spend… Continue reading

The Stud, The City’s oldest gay bar which is vacating its longtime home at Ninth and Harrison streets after more than 50 years, on Thursday, May 21, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City’s nightlife recovery fund approved but struggling business owners fear relief may come too late

As San Francisco’s nightlife scene approaches nearly a year of a complete… Continue reading

Riordan Crusaders versus St. Ignatius Wildcats at JB Murphy Field on the St. Ignatius Prepatory High School Campus on September 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner)
State allows high school sports to resume, but fight is far from over

For the first time since mid-March 2020, there is hope for high… Continue reading

Most Read