A recent survey indicated that many individuals in Kentucky may need to look into different ways to gain access to affordable dental care, since half of the adults in the state lack dental insurance. These people should consider purchasing discount dental plans before their dental health begins to deteriorate as a result of skipping regular trips to the dentist.
According to an article published by the Courier-Journal, data from the Kentucky Health Issues Poll showed that 51 percent of adults in the state - about 1.7 million people - have no dental insurance of any kind. Also, half of these adults reported that they skipped going to the dentist in the past year because of this lack of insurance.
Something needs to be done
The poll was conducted in September and October 2012 by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati, and also found that 39 percent of adults in Kentucky do not have a personal dental care provider. Also, 79 percent of people in that group said that the last time they visited a dentist was more than five years ago.
"Oral health is essential to overall health," Susan Zepeda, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which funded the survey with the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, told the Courier-Journal. "Yet our research indicates a majority of Kentuckians do not have dental coverage, so it is not surprising that a large number of adults do not have a personal dentist or oral health provider."
The news source also spoke to Pamela Stein, D.D.S., a dentist and faculty member at the University of Kentucky, who said that poor oral health can increase the risk of heart disease, body-wide infection and even death.
Alternatives do exist
Individuals without dental insurance don't have to go without the care of a dentist. They can purchase a discount dental plan to help them get the care they need at an affordable price. WiseBread.com published an article by one woman who paid less than $80 a year to cover her entire family of six under a discount dental plan, and she saw significant savings when she discovered that she needed seven fillings.
No one should skip trips to the dentist due to a lack of insurance. There are other ways for people to get the care they need so they don't put their dental and overall health at risk.
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