Some people may balk at the costs associated with dental care - and may even avoid visiting a dentist to save money, particularly if they do not have dental insurance.
However, a study conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology found that focusing on improving dental health and preventing gum disease can actually save people money in the long term.
The research, published in the November 2007 issue of the Journal of Periodontology, suggested that this may be the case because dental health is so closely linked with overall health.
Scientists followed the effect of gum disease on medical and dental care costs in more than 4,200 patients over a period of 3.5 years.
They discovered that the overall amount paid toward healthcare costs was 21 percent higher for participants who had developed severe gum disease than for those who did not have the dental health problem.
"Because of the relationship between the mouth and the rest of the body, treating periodontal disease may be one simple way to decrease total healthcare costs," Susan Karabin, president of the AAP, explained.
Discount dental plans offer one way to save money at participating dentists. An alternative to dental insurance, these plans provide discounts of between 10 and 60 percent on most dental procedures.
For more information on discount dental plans, call 1-888-632-5353.
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
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