In the Future, Caries May Be Not Always Be Treated with Fillings if Prevention Fails

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While many of us may run to the dentist as soon as something painful, the truth is, we should be more eager to go when things are alright. Preventive dentistry services are really where patients focus should be–while restorative procedures are a blessing for dental caries, nothing can restore the functionality of your enamel.

Besides going to the dentist, what else can you do to prevent decay from taking hold? An article released in December has some good ideas:

Which Treatments are Most Effective for Caries Prevention?

The most widespread diseases in “civilized populations,” with a prevalence of 40% in 7-year-old boys and 85% in 17-year-old boys, the study authors noted. However, some evidence has shown that dental caries incidence in 5- to 17-year-olds has decreased around 36% in recent decades, with half of children caries-free.

With that in mind, the researchers from Italy conducted a comprehensive literature search in four databases for systematic reviews of treatments for preventing caries conducted by “renowned” scientific institutions and published from 2002 through 2015.

They found 30 eligible systematic reviews that met all of the study’s requirements, 20 of which were conducted by the Cochrane Oral Health Group. Four researchers independently reviewed the articles that were identified.

The researchers summarized the results of the reviews, dividing them into three categories by treatment:

  • Fluoride gel, toothpaste, and mouthrinses
  • Pit-and-fissure sealants
  • Fluoridated supplements, water, and milk

Overall, they found that topical application of fluoride gel and fluoride supplements appear to be convenient and inexpensive methods of reducing caries. Also, pit-and-fissure sealants and fluoride varnishes appear to effectively reduce caries risk, they concluded. Read full article here . . .

Fluoride gels and supplements are not only convenient, but much more affordable than major restorations. For more information about fluoride and other preventative care, be sure to look at: allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/

You may be wondering, what if these preventative methods fail, what are your options? Thankfully there are quite a few different fillings materials (silver amalgam, porcelain, gold, composite) which can be used depending on your budget, aesthetic needs, insurance coverage, etc. And perhaps one day, patients may be lucky enough to repair their teeth through other means after decay. Take a look:

Study Offers New Treatment for Larger Caries

January 9, 2017 — Soon you might be treating your patient’s caries with a collagen sponge filled with a drug — first tested to treat Alzheimer’s patients — that stimulates the natural ability of teeth to restore dentine.

A study published January 9 in Scientific Reports by researchers in the U.K. documented a new method of stimulating the renewal of living stem cells in tooth pulp. While still needing human clinical trials, this approach may allow large cavities to be repaired without the use of cement or fillings.

“The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine,” stated lead study author Paul Sharpe, PhD, in a press release. “In addition, using a drug that has already been tested in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics.”

Sharpe is the head of the craniofacial development and stem cell biology division at the King’s College London Dental Institute . . .

After removing caries decay, a tooth’s soft inner pulp is exposed, and a natural dentine repair process begins. This process uses a form of stem cells in the patient’s mouth that becomes new cells. These cells release a form of reparative dentine, according to the study authors. Read the full here . . .

There isn’t any news about this kind of approach being given to the general public, but because Paul Sharpe (the study author) says that it’s been used in clinical trials, this treatment is definitely a possibility in the future. This kind of treatment would be amazing for patients who try their hardest at preventative methods but still get caries despite their best efforts.

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In the Future, Caries May Be Not Always Be Treated with Fillings if Prevention Fails is courtesy of: http://allin1dental.com

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What’s Causing Your Jaw Pain?

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There are numerous causes for jaw pain, so it can be a little frustrating figuring out what the problem is. For instance, if you grind your teeth at night, you really have no way of knowing that’s the cause unless you sleep with a partner who hears it or if a dentist sees wear on your x-rays.

If you aren’t sure what’s causing the pain, Dr. Alvin Danenberg–a guest writer at Drbicuspid.com–has eight ideas that might ring a bell:

8 possible causes of your patient’s jaw pain

As a periodontist, I frequently treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain or temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). Many of the causes of this type of jaw pain also can damage the jawbone around the roots of teeth.

In my experience, between 60% and 70% of adults have experienced some symptoms of TMD. Their most frequent complaint is pain either in the jaw joint or the jaw muscles. Patients often experience discomfort when opening their jaw, along with popping and cracking sounds in the jaw joints when opening and closing. Some patients also experience buzzing or ringing sounds in their ears.

TMDs are multifactorial, and their sources may be difficult to identify. I initially focus on the following eight related causes for TMDs:

  • Trauma (such as a car accident) involving the jaw joint, which could damage the joint structures
  • Clenching and grinding the teeth
  • Teeth that have been improperly restored or are out of alignment
  • Poor nutrition and unhealthy digestion, which could cause chronic inflammation and affect all joints in the body, such as in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Emotional stress, such as illustrated by a study by Lei and colleagues in Cranio (April 28, 2016).
  • Lack of sleep
  • Excessive estrogen, although studies vary
  • Infection in the joint

Many factors affect jaw pain. The more obvious causes should be explored first. If grinding habits or bite problems exist, these must be corrected. Stress reduction, restorative sleep, and good nutrition to provide proper hormone balance must be implemented to reduce TMD symptoms. If symptoms persist, other treatment options should be considered to make the patient comfortable. Read full article here . . .

Besides the Dr. Danenberg’s ideas, you may also want to consider mouth breathing. You’re probably thinking what? Mouth breathing? How on earth could that cause jaw pain.

However, think about this, if you cannot breathe through your nose, then your go-to will be breathing through your mouth, which has been shown to change facial structures–especially in young children. If your jaws and muscles change to compensate this breathing pattern, they will have extra stress placed upon them. An article at NBC News goes into further detail–not only about jaw pain, but other mouth-breathing issues:

‘Mouth-breathing’ gross, harmful to your health

As Dr. Yosh Jefferson, a New Jersey functional orthodontist, explains, “Mouth-breathing also irritates the tonsils and adenoids, so you have a double whammy where the sinuses are congested, which causes further blockage of the upper airway.” Now you really can’t breathe out of that nose. What’s more, when you take in oxygen through your nose, it passes over the mucous membrane and into the sinuses, which produces nitric oxide, which your body needs for all the smooth muscles, like your heart and your blood vessels. So when you’re not breathing through your nose, your blood actually isn’t getting all the oxygen it needs to function properly.

Jefferson believes breathing though the mouth is often an overlooked root cause of many health and behavioral problems, particularly in school-age kids. (“Just think of the child,” he says. “How do you think they’re doing in school? These kids are tired, they’re irritable, they can’t concentrate in school. And a lot of these kids (may be) diagnosed with ADD and hyperactivity.”)

But here’s the absolute weirdest thing that mouth-breathing can cause: It can actually change the shape of kids’ faces, according to a report Jefferson published last year in the journal General Dentistry. “Severe mouth breathers develop what they call long face syndrome — long, narrow faces, very unattractive facial features. Also if their tonsils are swollen, they sometimes position their jaw in weird ways in order to get more oxygen into their bodies. It can happen in adults as well … but it’s more prominent in children,” Jefferson says. “People think they grew to this face because of genetics –- it’s not, it’s because they’re mouth-breathers.” It’s reversible in children if it’s caught early — an orthodontist might use a device to expand the jaw, which will widen the mouth and open the sinuses, helping the child breathe through the nose again. (This can be done in adults, too, but it’s more difficult.)

“It’s best to treat them early,” Jefferson says. “It drives me crazy that there are so many kids who are mouth breathers and no one is doing anything about it. Read full article here . . .

Although there have been no definitive studies that show that braces can correct TMJ, they can correct your bite and ideally put teeth in a position that will decrease strain on the jaws. Men and women who breathe through their mouths often have narrow maxillas and overbites–both of which can be corrected with a dentist’s help. In the meantime, your dentist can reduce some wear and tear by fitting you with a mouthguard.

While you can certainly get a bite-and-bile guard at the store, these may be cumbersome and actually encourage more mouth breathing since they aren’t custom-made. It’s best to talk with your dentist to see what the root of the problem is in regards to your jaw pain.

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The post What’s Causing Your Jaw Pain? is republished from: www.allin1dental.com

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Pediatric Dentistry Should Focus on Preventative Methods

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Sometimes parents get in the mindset that dental problems–like cavities–aren’t too big of a deal. After all, that’s why you go for the dentist for a filling. However, we should all evaluate how we use our dental visits: are you going in to fix a problem or are you going in to prevent a problem? Ideally it should be the latter, especially when it comes to our children’s health.

And even though children’s primary teeth will eventually fall out, these teeth are still quite necessary to not only avoid infection and pain, but to help children get proper nutrition (children aren’t going to want to eat crunchy celery if their teeth hurt) and to help them develop proper speech patterns.

To combat dental caries, the CDC recommends that parents look into preventative methods like dental sealants, whether at their local dentist’s office, or through programs like Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In fact, drbicuspid.com just released a study last month about how sealant programs in schools were cost-effective:

School-based Sealant Programs Save Money

Programs that provide dental sealant to children at schools are cost-effective and prevent the need for many fillings, according to a new study published in the December issue of Health Affairs.

 

The results, which were published in Health Affairs, provide useful information for comparing school-based sealant programs with other alternatives. These programs typically provide sealants at little or no cost to children attending schools with a large population of low-income families who do not receive regular dental care.

 

“Increasing sealant prevalence among low-income children could save society money and decrease toothaches and their sequelae,” the study authors wrote (Health Affairs, December 2016, Vol. 35:12, pp. 2233-2240).

 

The study was led by Susan Griffin, PhD, a health economist in the division of oral health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and included other researchers from the CDC and U.S. universities . . .

 

The authors added that baseline screening data from the school-based sealant programs in the states included in their analysis found that the programs were serving children at high risk for cavities who were unlikely to use clinical dental services. A third of them had at least one cavity needing treatment in a permanent or primary tooth, compared with the national average of 20%.

 

“In the absence of access to restorative care, prevention becomes even more critical to long-term dental health,” they concluded.

Of course this study did point out that labor costs are a concern, especially when the program requires more than one dentist on-site. However, the long-term benefits should outweigh the initial costs. Because sealants can cut down infections from cavities and the need for fillings, inlays, onlays, extraction, root canals, and the like, it’s well worth a community with many low-income families to look into these kinds of programs.

A post by Sarah Fossum outlines some more benefits of dental sealants:

3 Reasons to Consider Sealants for Your Child

Cavities are the most common chronic disease among children and that untreated decay affects 19.5% of 2- to 5-year-olds and 22.9% of 6- to 19-year-olds.

 

Luckily there are sealants, which can reduce childhood tooth decay by more than 70%. A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that prevents food and bacteria from getting stuck in the grooves and pits of molars and premolars.

 

It’s recommended children get sealants once they get their permanent teeth. Here are 3 reasons why:
1. Extra Protection

Children are just learning about dental hygiene and may not be properly removing food and plaque from every nook and cranny. Sealants will provide extra protection during these cavity-prone years.
2. Easy and Painless

If your child gets nervous at the dentist, rest assured that sealants are a painless and quick procedure. There are no needles and no drills, and the whole process takes 15 minutes on average.
3. Long Lasting

Sealants can last for up to 10 years! Make sure to periodically check in with your dentist to ensure that your child’s sealants are still intact and don’t have any chips or cracks.

Seventy percent reduction rates in cavities is a pretty amazing number–especially since the sealant procedure is so short and easy to perform. If parents can shift their focus away from fixing a problem to preventing a problem, then pediatric dentistry will be able to thrive.

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Getting Paranoid About What’s in Your Water? Why Fluoridation is Okay

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Honestly, it’s not to hard to see why someone would be paranoid these days about what’s in the water. For instance, the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens clean water in the Missouri River and its tributaries. Residents in Flint, Michigan have already suffered from excessive lead exposure, and litigation against those responsible is still going on.

And because of improper irrigation methods, fertilizers and pesticides can end up in the water–in fact, panda.org says that agriculture is the top source of pollution for lots of countries! Additionally, a recent article that was presented at Medline Plus showed that these farming chemicals affected the oral cavity:

Pesticide Exposures May Alter Mouth Bacteria

Pesticide exposure may change the makeup of bacteria in the mouths of farm workers, a new study finds.
Researchers at the University of Washington analyzed swabs taken from the mouths of 65 adult farm workers and 52 adults who didn’t work on farms. All lived in Washington’s Yakima Valley.

 

The farm workers had higher blood levels of pesticides, and greater changes in their mouth bacteria than non-farm workers, the study found.

 

The most significant finding was in farm workers who had the organophosphate pesticide Azinphos-methyl in their blood.

 

In this group, researchers found significantly reduced quantities of seven common groups of oral bacteria. Among those was Streptococcus, which first author Ian Stanaway called “one of the most common normal microbiota in the mouth.” He’s a doctoral candidate in environmental toxicology.

 

Stanaway noted that previous studies have found that “changes in species and strains of Streptococcus have been associated with changes in oral health.”

 

The changes noted in this new study persisted into the winter, long after the growing season when pesticide use is highest, the researchers said.

 

The study doesn’t establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship, however.

 

The results were published recently in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

 

With this discovery, “the challenge becomes, what does this mean? We don’t know,” principal investigator Elaine Faustman said in a journal news release. Faustman is a professor in the university’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.

 

“We depend on the microbiome for many metabolic processes,” she said . . .

With all these different chemicals possibly floating in the water, many people’s concerns have also turned to fluoridation.

Many communities are voting against it now because they believe that it is dangerous. However, fluoridated water has been used in the U.S. for more than seven decades. The surgeon general even released a report recently, confirming his recommendation of this practice. There are many studies that show that it can lower the cost of dental care as well as reduce cavities.

But because people are so concerned with fluoridated water now, a society has actually been established to educate people and help them understand that this practice is much different than pesticides, lead, and other contaminants:

New Fluoridation Society Provides Help to Fight Myths

Johnny Johnson Jr., DMD, president of the newly formed American Fluoridation Society (AFS) got into the fluoridation fight when local officials in his community of Pinellas County, FL, voted in 2011 to discontinue water fluoridation, citing concern that residents might be ingesting too much fluoride . . .

 

“I thought she was kidding, but she was serious,” he recounted. “I explained there’s been no literature that found any connection whatsoever between water fluoridation and cancer, and I sent her information. She was blown away by the research and said she had definitely been misled.”

 

In another incident, a public health student told him there was “lots of debate about toxins and arsenic in fluoride.” Dr. Johnson replied: “There’s no debate; the science is crystal clear.”

 

. . . The main thing that healthcare professionals can do is be aware of what’s going on in their communities regarding water fluoridation, Dr. Johnson advised. Letters to newspapers and noticing what people are saying about the issue are tip-off’s about efforts against community water fluoridation.

As Dr. Johnson says in this article, dentists need to reach out and consult their patients before taking any action.

If you are still paranoid and want the best of both worlds, you could opt for topical fluoride treatments at your local office (these are great since you don’t ingest them) and then drink water that isn’t fluoridated.

But again, your dentist can enlighten you on the correct dosage of fluoride. Even if you get too much, the only downside that’s been established is fluorosis, which is a discoloration of the enamel.

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The article Getting Paranoid About What’s in Your Water? Why Fluoridation is Okay was originally seen on: All In 1 Dental

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Is Gum Disease Aggravating Your Arthritis?

Gum disease has been linked to all sorts of ailments, from heart disease to diabetes. And if you have rheumatoid arthritis, it can certainly be exacerbated by poor gum health.

In fact, a recent article at Medline Plus discusses this link further, citing that a bacteria called A. actinomycetemcomitans may be the culprit for both issues:

Could a Germ Link Gum Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic form of arthritis linked to an overactive immune system. It can affect a variety of body systems, not just the joints. The disease affects roughly 1.5 million U.S. adults, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

For more than a century, scientists have noticed that people with this inflammatory disease are more likely than others to suffer from gum disease, Andrade noted.
Researchers began to suspect a common factor was triggering both diseases.
In recent years, investigators have found signs that rheumatoid arthritis patients with fewer teeth — possibly as a result of gum disease — have more severe cases. Researchers have also reported that people with gum disease are twice as likely to have rheumatoid arthritis, the study authors said.

But the explanation for the connection wasn’t clear.

 

For the new study, Andrade’s team examined almost 200 samples from the gums of people with rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers looked for evidence of a type of bacteria, called A. actinomycetemcomitans, that’s linked to gum disease.

 

Signs of infection were detected in almost half of the rheumatoid arthritis patients compared to just 11 percent of another group of people without gum disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
This finding raises the possibility that the germ could cause both gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, the study authors suggested.

 

According to Andrade, the bacterium may afflict the gums and then cause swelling in the joints as a kind of side effect.

 

Researchers have also wondered about the reverse — whether gum disease could be a side effect of rheumatoid arthritis. A study published in Current Oral Health Reports raised the question of whether the gums might be, in effect, another affected “joint.” Read full article here . . .

As the study says, if people with gum disease are more likely to have arthritis and vice versa, then could resolving one issue help the other? The Arthritis Foundation thinks so.

A post by Brenda Goodman at arthritis.org presented a study where one group of participants was able to have a deep dental cleaning for periodontal disease, while the other group just followed at-home care. Apparently those who were able to get the dental cleaning were also able to see great results in their arthritis as well, with less stiffness and pain.

This is fantastic news, so if you have both arthritis and gum issues, it’s well worth your time to look into scaling and root planing. But since patients can’t go to the dentist every other day for help, another way to help relieve your arthritis is with anti-inflammatory foods:

Can Diet Really Reduce Gum Disease?

. . . for four weeks, their diet consisted of primal foods endemic to their area in Switzerland about 5,700 years ago. No processed foods were available for them to eat. These participants had to gather and forage for the majority of their food. In addition, these individuals were not able to brush or floss their teeth during the entire four weeks. Signs of gum infection were measured, and cultures of bacteria in their dental plaque were taken before and after the study.

 

At the end of the four-week study, there was a significant decrease in signs of gum disease even though all 10 participants could not brush or floss their teeth for the duration of the study. Although amounts of dental plaque increased, disease-producing bacteria did not increase in the plaque . . .

 

The participants in [another] experimental group had to change their diet. Their new diet consisted of foods low in carbohydrates, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and abundant in vitamins C and D, antioxidants, and fiber. The control group participants did not change their eating habits. As far as oral hygiene was concerned, researchers told all 15 participants not to clean between their teeth with dental floss or interdental brushes. However, they did not have to change the way they brushed their teeth.

 

The four-week study began after each group had a few weeks to acclimate to these changes. Researchers recorded the signs of gum disease in all participants at the start and end of the study.
At the conclusion of the trial, the researchers found that all disease parameters decreased significantly in the experimental group by about 50% from the starting point. In contrast, all inflammatory markers increased from the starting point in the control group. Read more about the studies here . . .

Since both arthritis and gum disease are inflammatory conditions, making adjustments to help just one of them will probably have a ripple-effect on the other.

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Is Gum Disease Aggravating Your Arthritis? was originally published to: All In One Dental

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Just How Bad is Soda for Your Teeth?

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Everyone’s heard that coke can dissolve enamel (after all, it’s strong enough to dissolve a nail, right?). However, studies have shown that the dissolved tooth and nail experiments are largely false. Coke was used by some as a cleaner to remove rust stains, and that’s where part of the myth arose from. Believe it or not, drinks like cranberry juice have a lower pH and are more acidic than coke. And while some researchers were able to erode some teeth, these experiments were often conducted in petri dishes and were not terribly pertinent to real life.

So that means soda isn’t as bad as we think it is, right? Wrong! One Prevention article says that sodas are some of the worse beverages you can consume:

How Bad Is Soda, Really?

It’s a well-known adage: Drinking too much soda is bad for you.  But just how bad is excessive soda consumption for your body?

The unanimous answer from experts: “Very.” And regular soda isn’t the only culprit. Even diet drinks, which utilize artificial sweeteners in place of sugar, could still negatively impact an individual’s health.

High rates of soda consumption have been linked with numerous health problems, including weight gain, poor dental health, diabetes and cardiovascular disease—which can ultimately lead to heart attacks, stroke and premature death . . .

We’re finding some research that seems to indicate that calories from sugar are more easily turned into fat in your body than calories from fat in food are turned into fat in your body,” Ochner said.  Translation: Eating and drinking sugar makes you gain more weight than eating fat.

Due to the overwhelmingly adverse health effects associated with drinking soda, Ochner recommends that people should drop soda completely from their diets. But if you still need that 140-calorie fix, he said almost anything else is better than soda.

“There’s zero nutritional value.  None,” Ochner said.  “You’d probably be better off eating those calories at McDonald’s, because you’d at least get some nutrition.”

While this article mainly focuses on overall health, it does mention poor dental health being an issue. And even though we’ve established that the tooth-in-coke experiments aren’t reliable, that doesn’t mean that they don’t affect your teeth.

For instance, the bacteria in your mouth need sugar to thrive (and they get an overabundance from soda). When the bacteria feeds on the sugar, they produce acid as a by-product. Too many acids can dissolve the calcium in your enamel, making them weak and prone to dental caries. While dental fillings can fix some of these problems, those who consume too much soda may need a lot of restorations.

Because soda has such adverse health effects, many communities are inacting laws that would discourage people from overconsumption:

Sugar taxes sweep the ballot

How do sugar taxes work?

Sugar taxes raise the price of SSBs. The local government then collects that money to put toward public services, infrastructure improvements and other city costs. A city with a $0.01 sugar tax will see the price of a two-liter bottle of soda increase by about $0.68 and a six-pack of canned soda increase by $0.72. These taxes do not usually apply to milk, 100% juice, baby formula, alcohol or medical beverages.

Do sugar taxes affect health?

A 2016 study published in The BMJ found that following the implementation of a 2014 SSB tax in Mexico, purchases of taxed beverages decreased while purchases of un-taxed beverages increased. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Dental Research also indicated that SSB taxation could reduce caries rates and dental treatment costs. Furthermore, a 2015 study in the Journal of Dental Research notes that while dentistry has focused on increasing oral hygiene and prevention services, recent findings suggest that efforts to decreasing sugar intake to reduce caries should also be increased.

What can dental students do about sugar taxes?

If you live in or attend school in an area with sugar taxes, you can talk to your patients about what they mean. Patients often need help feeling motivated to take action towards improving their oral health and dietary habits. Talking with patients about how they can save money and improve their oral health by drinking tap water instead of soda is a great motivating factor! Informing patients about the true cost of soda may be just the push they need to break their soda-drinking habit.

While there’s some debate over the effectiveness of these kinds of taxes and over penalizing people for personal choices, at least local governments are concerned for their citizens. Perhaps these sugar taxes — even if they don’t last — will help people reevaluate their habits and how soda affects their health.

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Just How Bad is Soda for Your Teeth? is available on: All In One Dentistry Blog

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Are You Really Saving Money Without a Dental Plan? Why Preventive Care is a Must

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While many people are skipping out on health insurance plans–figuring that the tax penalty will be cheaper than premiums–even more people skip out on dental plans:

Many Americans Skip the Dentist Due to Cost

Americans are more likely to skip needed dental care because of cost than any other type of health care, researchers report.

Working-age adults are particularly vulnerable, the study found. Some 13 percent reported forgoing dental care because of cost. That’s nearly double the proportion of seniors and triple the percentage of children for whom cost poses a barrier to dental care, the study showed.

Cost was the main impediment to dental care even for adults with private insurance. “It seems like medical insurance is doing a better job at protecting consumers from financial hardship than dental insurance,” said study author Marko Vujicic. Typically, private dental insurance includes annual maximum benefit limits and significant “coinsurance” — the patient’s share of costs on covered services, Vujicic explained. He is chief economist and vice president of the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Health Policy Institute in Chicago.

. . . Evelyn Ireland, executive director of the National Association of Dental Plans, agreed with the report that avoiding dental care can affect overall health. Fortunately, the percentage of the population citing cost as a reason for not getting dental services has declined steadily since 2010, Ireland said. And in 2014, it was the lowest since 2003, she added.

Colin Bradley is vice president of business development at Winston Benefits Inc., a company that helps employers administer dental benefits. He said employers who offer private dental plans must emphasize the value of those benefits, including preventive services often provided at no out-of-pocket cost. Read full article here . . .

Perhaps this article is correct in saying that dental insurers need to take better care of their consumers, but perhaps the average consumer needs to also spend a little more time researching. There are many ways to pay for preventive dentistry care without breaking the bank:

  • Talk with your insurance broker about discounts
  • Ask your dentist about financing options
  • Look for school-sponsored dental programs for your kids
  • Seek help from charitable clinics
  • Consider getting an exam and cleaning at a local dental school

Although Americans that shirk their dental check-ups may think they are saving money, the National Association of Dental Plans begs to differ:

Who Has Dental Benefits?

Americans with dental benefits are more likely to go to the dentist, take their children to the dentist, receive restorative care and experience greater overall health, according to the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) report, The Haves and the Have-Nots: Consumers with and without Dental Benefits.

This report clearly shows that access to dental care is improved with dental benefits and that dental care improves oral health.  Given increasing connections between oral and overall health, dental coverage is critical for all Americans.  The choice for us as individuals and for our health care system is to pay for dental care now or pay more for medical treatment of dental complications later.  (A “Consumer White Paper” based on data from this report can is available from NADP.)

Some 114 million Americans have no dental coverage with 67.7[3] million under 65 years of age.  This is about twice the number of medically uninsured that are under 65 years of age.  With the opening of the ACA’s federal and state exchanges in 2014, the medically uninsured was reported as 32 million which was down 9 million from 2013.   Individuals without dental benefits are more likely to have extractions and dentures and less likely to have restorative care or receive treatment for gum disease.  Furthermore, those without dental benefits report higher incidences of other illness; they are

67 percent more likely to have heart disease;
50 percent more likely to have osteoporosis; and
29 percent more likely to have diabetes.

They also visit the dentist less frequently—missing the opportunity for prevention and early treatment.  Many of them are among the 738,000 Americans annually that end up in emergency rooms for dental treatment. Read more here . . .

While the average American may think that their oral health is separate from other systems, the numbers are clear: poor oral health is tied to an increase in serious illness.

Also, since Americans without dental care are more likely to need extractions for their teeth, they may have to pay enormous amounts of money over the counter for prostheses, implants, and other restorations. If they don’t have that kind of money, they may lose functional abilities for both speaking and eating. Although this kind of damage doesn’t happen overnight, it’s much more affordable to treat issues early on since teeth can still saved.

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Are You Really Saving Money Without a Dental Plan? Why Preventive Care is a Must was originally published to: All In 1 Dental

All In One Dental Innovations
7046 Dublin Blvd
Dublin, CA 94568
(925) 828-9811
info@allin1dental.com

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