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An Ounce of Prevention…

Posted on April 5, 2011 | in Dental Care | by

Can actually save us money on dental care.

It’s the same old story; doesn’t matter if we’re talking aluminum siding, oil changes in the car, or even proper oral health care, the more preventative we are with maintenance, the more money we can save in the long run. Our teeth are no different.

For example, if we only visit the dentist once every five years, our expenses will be significantly higher than if we visited the dentist twice a year – as recommended – for those five years. Ignoring proper oral health care and avoiding the dentist will not only be detrimental to our health, it will hurt our bank accounts too. Preventative dental health care maintenance can save us money, and keep us healthy, now there is scientific data to prove it.

In a recent study conducted by global health services provider, Cigna, the topic of treating periodontal gum disease in diabetic patients, and the financial expenses incurred was examined. The study began in 2006 and lasted until 2008, and it mainly involved patients who were both diabetic and suffering from periodontal gum disease.

According to the Cigna study, as discussed on a worlddental.org article you can see here, the overall treatment costs for diabetic patients can be drastically reduced if periodontal gum disease is being treated properly. The findings of the study indicated one group of patients who received full treatment (for gum disease) plus follow up maintenance care were able to save almost $2,500 in medical costs for their diabetes treatment.

The other group of patients – that only received the initial gum disease treatment, without the preventative maintenance of regular care for the following years – were not as fortunate with their health care expenses.

So what’s the point?

The point is we can all learn something from both the worlddental.org article and the Cigna study. Even though the article and related study identified significant financial savings involving diabetic dental patients, we can certainly draw some correlations with our own dental health care.

With more research, continued examination, and further discussion, we all learn to benefit from a little bit of preventative dental health care maintenance. As the information from these clinical studies and research trickles down to an everyday level, we can apply what we’ve learned and even save money on dental care at the same time.

Maintaining proper oral health care is important if we want to keep our teeth later in life, saving money at the same time is a bonus.

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of DentalPatientNews.com, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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