Bakersfield, CA – Most people only consider teeth when they think of their dentist. That’s easy to understand. After all, the dentist cleans and polishes your teeth and checks for cavities during most typical visits.
And, dentists like Dr. Frank regularly perform procedures like creative smile design, where your teeth are shaped into the ideal position and alignment, and restorative dentistry, where implants are often used to replace missing incisors and molars.
However, your dentist is in the business of caring for more than just your teeth. Comprehensive dental care also involves gum disease treatment, which it is now proven, can actually save you on healthcare costs.
Gum Disease and Overall Health
Gum disease, also referred to as gingivitis and periodontitis, can affect total body health. Few understand this better than Dr. Frank, who happens to be an AAOSH dentist. The American Academy for Oral Systemic Health is an association of professionals that is dedicated to the relationship between one’s oral health and overall health. The reason is because the bacteria associated with gum disease doesn’t always remain in the mouth, and can spread to other areas of the body through the bloodstream.
For instance, studies have shown that gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to serious health complications, such as diabetes, respiratory system issues, heart disease, and even stroke. Women who are pregnant can also experience problems, and some women can develop reproductive health problems if their periodontitis is not addressed.
When mild gum disease (gingivitis) is detected in an otherwise healthy individual, dentists like Dr. Frank will recommend a more thorough at-home oral hygiene routine, as well specialized comprehensive dentistry procedures, such as scaling and root planing, for example. This will prevent the gingivitis from progressing into the more serious form of gum disease, periodontitis.
How Can Gum Disease Treatment Save on Healthcare?
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reviewed the medical and dental records of patients who suffered from both gum disease and ailments like cardiovascular disease, stroke, and other chronic health problems. The study showed that patients who had at least one treatment for periodontal disease experienced 10%-40% lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations within four years of treatment.
The reason seems straightforward. Treating periodontal disease reduces the body’s burden of infection and inflammation, which may help you respond more effectively to treatments for other health conditions, such as heart disease.
Other research tends to agree. Health Insurance conglomerate Cigna reported that patients who received periodontal disease treatment spent saved $1,418 on treatment for diabetes, $647 for treatment for cardiovascular disease, and $10,142 for treatment related to stroke.
Yet another study showed that sufferers of type 2 diabetes saved an average of $1,799 in total healthcare costs over the course of two years following treatment for gum disease.
Saving on Dentistry Costs May Be More Expensive in the Long Run
Too many people forgo dentistry treatment because they think they’re saving money. But the research proves otherwise. Skipping your regular visits to the dental chair may actually cost you in the long run. Not only are you more at risk for many diseases, but you may end up spending more money throughout your lifetime.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
There are a variety of techniques Dr. Frank uses to treat gum disease, from laser dentistry to deep cleaning, also referred to as scaling and root planing. While these treatments may sound costly, they may be well worth it in the end, especially if you can avoid gum disease entirely. And if you already suffer from gum disease, there is still time to reverse the damage.
To learn more about gum disease treatment using laser dentistry or comprehensive dentistry to give you the healthiest mouth possible, contact Dr. Frank in Bakersfield, California by calling (661) 324-6511 or email to schedule an appointment.
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