Have you visited the dentist in the last six months? If so, you are not alone. Every month, millions of Americans see the dentist for a cleaning and an examination. Regular dental appointments are vital if you want to have strong, healthy teeth, but unfortunately, there are still many people who do not see a dentist on a regular basis.
While some people put off these appointments because they are afraid of the dentist, or because they just do not see the need, many people do so because of financial concerns. The cost of dental care is the most commonly-cited reason for avoiding the dentist. Since more than 40 million Americans lack any kind of dental health coverage, it is not surprising that so many people neglect their teeth.
What many of these people do not consider, however, is that seeing a dentist is associated with lower long-term costs. The amount that they pay for dental insurance will be more than made up for in the savings produced by better dental health, Spirit is a strong advocate of regular exams so carriers are covered for three cleanings per year.
For example, the United Concordia Oral Health Study found significant reductions in health care costs associated with better treatment of gum disease and other periodontal conditions. Patients who saw a dentist and received treatment for gum disease reduced their annual health costs from anywhere between $1,000 and $6,000.
Hospital admissions were also reduced by proper periodontal treatment. Annual hospitalizations were reduced from 20 percent to as much as 40 percent, just by seeing a dentist. Many people do not understand how significantly your dental health can affect the rest of your body.
Gum disease is increasingly being seen as one of the leading risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. One study found that patients who had gum disease or other periodontal problems were at significantly greater risk of developing heart disease than were those with healthy gums. In some cases, the risk was nearly three times greater.
Gum disease is also a significant problem for patients who suffer from diabetes. In fact, it may even be a contributing factor in causing diabetes. Research has indicated that moderate gum disease makes it harder for your body to control your blood sugar levels and reduces the effectiveness of insulin.
Even setting aside such significant health issues as heart disease or diabetes, having dental insurance offers other benefits as well. A dental emergency can happen at any time. You might crack a tooth on or have one knocked out by a stray blow. In such cases, receiving prompt care can mean that your tooth can be saved. Knowing that you can afford the cost of major dental services care takes quite a load off of your mind.
As you can see, there are many benefits to having good dental insurance. If you do not have coverage, Spirit Dental is here to help start shopping today for a plan that you can afford.