The slumping economy has taken a toll on many people, resulting in some cutting corners on dental care due to a lack of funds or dental insurance covering the necessary treatments. Unfortunately, dentists say that putting off preventive care only increases the likelihood of having to pay more later, because procedures that can be avoided with a dental checkup become costly when they have progressed too far.
"The teeth are not separated from the body and one of the chief things we're trying to do is teach prevention because 95 percent of dental disease can be prevented with just diet and home care," Dr Nancy Ward told WJZ in Baltimore. "Economically, it's so much cheaper than actually restoring teeth."
Last weekend, the University of Maryland Dental School recruited dentists and students to help 150 patients with little or no dental insurance get a basic dental checkup and some preventative dental care if needed.
Unchecked dental disease has been linked to a number of chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even Alzheimer's disease.
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