Journal of Gerontological Nursing

NEWS 

Campaign to Lower Dental Costs for NJ Elderly is Launched

Abstract

The Denturist Society of New Jersey has launched a campaign to support enactment of a law to permit direct sale of dentures to wearers. The legislation is endorsed by the American Association of Retired Persons, New Jersey Legislative Committee. The society estimates that nearly half of all New Jersey elderly require dentures each year.

If the proposed law, Senate No. 2501 now in the New Jersey Senate Labor, Industry, and Professions Committee, were to be enacted, annual health-care costs for New Jersey's senior citizens could decline. The committee is chaired by Senator Raymond Lesniak of Elizabeth.

An average set of dentures purchased through a dentist costs about $1000, but may cost as little as $500 if denturists were allowed to sell directly to the wearer. Although various forms of insurance may pay for some portion of the cost of dentures, many New Jersey elderly may not be able to afford dentures or denture repairs. S-2501 would register denturists who then could design, fabricate, and repair, as well as take impressions for dentures, so dentures could be sold directly to the wearer. Under present New Jersey law, a patient must go to a dentist to have an impression made for dentures. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where a technician creates the denture which is then sold by the dentist to the patient.

The bill provides a six-month unconditional guarantee or consumer satisfaction as to function, fit, aesthetics, and phonetics, and a complete refund to unsatisfied consumers. Patient health is protected through stringent requirements that insure the professionalism of denturists. Also, patients would obtain a written statement of oral health from a dentist prior to purchasing dentures from a registered denturist.…

The Denturist Society of New Jersey has launched a campaign to support enactment of a law to permit direct sale of dentures to wearers. The legislation is endorsed by the American Association of Retired Persons, New Jersey Legislative Committee. The society estimates that nearly half of all New Jersey elderly require dentures each year.

If the proposed law, Senate No. 2501 now in the New Jersey Senate Labor, Industry, and Professions Committee, were to be enacted, annual health-care costs for New Jersey's senior citizens could decline. The committee is chaired by Senator Raymond Lesniak of Elizabeth.

An average set of dentures purchased through a dentist costs about $1000, but may cost as little as $500 if denturists were allowed to sell directly to the wearer. Although various forms of insurance may pay for some portion of the cost of dentures, many New Jersey elderly may not be able to afford dentures or denture repairs. S-2501 would register denturists who then could design, fabricate, and repair, as well as take impressions for dentures, so dentures could be sold directly to the wearer. Under present New Jersey law, a patient must go to a dentist to have an impression made for dentures. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where a technician creates the denture which is then sold by the dentist to the patient.

The bill provides a six-month unconditional guarantee or consumer satisfaction as to function, fit, aesthetics, and phonetics, and a complete refund to unsatisfied consumers. Patient health is protected through stringent requirements that insure the professionalism of denturists. Also, patients would obtain a written statement of oral health from a dentist prior to purchasing dentures from a registered denturist.

10.3928/0098-9134-19890301-13

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