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you are > Dental Health Articles > Tooth decay puts strain on ERs

Tooth decay puts strain on ERs
Updated: 5/21/2010 7:00:33 PM

Tooth decay puts strain on ERs Many individuals who lack dental insurance end up visiting the emergency room when their dental problems become bad, putting a strain on the healthcare system and - by extension - on taxpayers' wallets. However, many experts say that the majority of these visits can be avoided with improved oral hygiene.

Most emergency room visits that stem from dental issues are caused by tooth decay. This problem can become extremely painful when left untreated, leading individuals to seek emergency procedures. When caught early by a dentist, tooth decay can be eliminated by filling the tooth.

However, individuals without dental insurance may lack the resources to go for regular oral care checkups. These people can avoid serious problems by improving their dental hygiene.

"The preventative part, the biggest part that can prevent tooth decay, is what the person or patient can do at home with the proper home care," dentist Dr Beau Kapp told local ABC affiliate KDVR. "Brushing and flossing doesn't seem to really cost a lot of money. It's just a matter of doing it."

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that 47 percent of American adults between 18 and 64 years old did not see a dentist in the past year.

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