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Periodontal disease, health and the hip pocket

Periodontal treatment REDUCES Medical Costs

In the medical sphere, chronic medical conditions, be it diabetes or heart disease are a widespread issue affecting millions of people, and costing a large amount of both governmental and personal budget.

In a survey done by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, periodontitis (or gum disease) is the 5th most prevalent health problem affecting Australians, where about a quarter of the population suffer from moderate to severe forms of this disease. And we know that periodontal disease is a risk factor for various chronic medical conditions.

So does periodontal treatment reduces medical costs? The answer is YES.

A study by University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, led by Majorie Jeffcoat, the professor and dean emeritus reveals that periodontal treatment was associated with statistically significant decreases in annual medical costs. The team evaluated nearly 1.7 million insurance records from 2005 to 2009, where 300 000 records had both major medical and dental claims.

The study found:

Annual Medical Costs Savings $5,681 for members with cerebral vascular disease (stroke) $1,090 for members with coronary artery disease (heart) $2,840 for members with diabetes ($1,477 for diabetes outpatient drug costs*) $2,433 for women who were pregnant Annual Hospitalization Reductions 21.2% for members with stroke 28.6% for members with heart disease 39.4% for members with diabetes

In short, routine oral care helps prevent and respond to problems early before they develop into complex and more expensive ones. Periodontal therapy involves not only chairside deep scaling and regular maintenance, but also good home oral health instructions for the patients.