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While multiple studies have shown that Americans are cutting back on the number of visits they make to the dentist due to the economic recession, a recent study conducted by individuals at New York University made an interesting discovery regarding how often individuals are visiting a dental health professional. According to their findings, 20 million U.S. residents visit the dentist annually, but do not see a general healthcare provider on a yearly basis.
This statistic led these scientists to determine that dentists can play a valuable role in recognizing a number of chronic conditions that people who do not visit their physician may not realize they have.
"For these and other individuals, dental professionals are in a key position to assess and detect oral signs and symptoms of systemic health disorders that may otherwise go unnoticed, and to refer patients for follow-up care," said researcher Sheila Strauss, Ph.D.
One particularly interesting statistic that researchers discovered was that 93 percent of children and 85 percent of adults who were surveyed had health insurance. This suggests that even though these people had access to general practitioners, they chose to not visit them.
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