While the last few years have seen great strides forward in terms of health care reform, this reform has largely overlooked dental care.
Yet many of the issues that plague health care — such as high costs, lack of access and poor coverage — affect the dental insurance world just as much.
With the number of Americans who have dental care hovering far below the number of those who have health coverage, and poor dental health being linked to a number of serious health problems, avoiding the dentist office could rack up some major expenses in the long run.
According to US News and World Report, an amazing 40% of Americans still don’t have dental coverage; in contrast, a mere 12.9% of Americans lack health care. People without dental insurance are far less likely to visit the dentist for regular dental cleanings or to treat acute pains. In fact, 56% of people who don’t have dental coverage forgo preventive treatments and checkups altogether.
Even if you diligently brush and floss each day, you can still experience dental complications over the long run that only a dentist can detect. By avoiding the dentist for years at a time, you could be putting yourself at risk for a dental emergency that costs thousands to fix.
“I’ve seen patients with excellent home dental care develop severe gum disease because their tartar had built up for years, causing gingivitis and gum disease,” Dr. Marshall Young, a dentist in Newport Beach, CA, told US News and World Report. “Also, patients that fail to come for regular checkups and cleanings can have decayed teeth that were at one time small, fixable issues.”
Serious dental problems are also linked with health complications that can prove to be fatal if ignored. Gum disease has been shown to contribute to problems like heart disease, diabetes and respiratory complications, for example. And when 39,500 Americans are diagnosed with some form of mouth cancer each year, seeing a dentist who can detect these cancers early on is a great way to stay safe and healthy.
When it comes to your dental health, it’s clear that preventive, not reactive, care is the way to go. If you don’t yet have dental insurance, now is the time to get covered.
Do you have insurance coverage for you and your family’s dental needs? Have any other questions about how to find a local dentist who offers affordable dental exams for patients without insurance? Let us know in the comments below. Helpful sites. Links like this.
Trackback from your site.