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The field of dentistry is changing, and more advanced technology also seems to be leading to dentists finding more problems with their patients' oral health. The New York Times reports that dental health professionals are now more likely to recommend fillings for people with incipient carious lesions also known as "microcavities," which is an early sign of tooth decay.
In the past, dentists were less inclined to fill these small cavities, but now, more oral care professionals are choosing to take early action when they see a hint of tooth decay.
“If you were to go to a physician and he were to diagnose risk factors for heart disease, the physician would take action and treat the early signs of disease and try to prevent future disease,” explained dentist Douglas Young to the Times.
The news source reports that while many people with dental insurance can understand the benefits of filling these small cavities early on, especially since most insurance plans cover these procedures, it may be different for people who have to pay out-of-pocket.
Reuters reports that as of 2010, an estimated 45 million Americans did not have dental insurance. For this population, the idea of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on treating microcavities is not a realistic one. Yet, these small issues can grow into major oral health problems, highlighting the need for more affordable dental plans.
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