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People afraid of the weakening economy and the potential for their dental health care costs to increase in the future are skipping out on dentist appointments in an effort to save some money, according to a new poll.
The Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll found out of all the health care expenses Americans are cutting back on, dental care is the biggest slice, HealthDay News reports.
A total of 51 percent of the poll respondents who did not have dental insurance and 30 percent of people who did have insurance said they had skipped necessary dental care in the past year due to financial reasons, according to the article.
The poll surveyed 2,078 adults between February 25-27.
Carol Pryor, policy director at the nonprofit healthcare organization The Access Project, told the news provider that avoiding needed care could make matters worse.
"Some things do go away on their own over time. But there are a lot of conditions that get worse if they aren't treated, and they then require more expensive care later," Pryor said.
If conditions like tooth decay is left untreated, it can lead to serious conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
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