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Dental health a product of dollars well spent
Updated: 1/5/2010 5:16:43 PM

Dental health a product of dollars well spent The strength of the dollar has become a topic on the minds of most Americans, many of whom have relied on comparative shopping for everything from milk to dental insurance to make ends meet during the recession.

With an eye for maximizing value, the Wall Street Journal's financial advisor James Altucher indicated that the extra dollars spent on dental care over the years may have been well worth the money.

According to Altucher, when the first training school for oral hygienists opened in the U.S. in 1913, almost every American suffered from some medical condition related to tooth decay, and the number one cause of suicide in the 1800s was dental pain.

However, since then, Americans have increased their spending on dental services to about $480 million in 1929 and more than $50 billion a year today - a significant investment resulting in equally significant improvements in dental health.

Americans have three more teeth today on average than they did in 1970, and the number of children with cavities has reduced from 74 percent to less than 30 percent over the same time span, the WSJ reports.

The American Dental Association says that dental treatment usually begins with low-cost diagnostic procedures like x-rays and exams.

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