Recent research has found that preventive dental care is capable of saving hundreds of dollars each year for those with conditions like Diabetes and Coronary Artery Disease. Some people choose to only visit the dentist when in pain. But as this study shows, this actually ends up costing far more in the long-term, and has health implications. This study shows the importance of attending regular check-ups and treatments.
Recent research has found that preventive dental care has the potential to save some people hundreds of dollars each year. The study was conducted with a focus on those with Diabetes and/or Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
Moreover, the research also found that dental care can reduce the likelihood of hospitilization for people with the above conditions. The link between oral health and physical health is clear, this research reaffirms this.
The fact that not everyone has dental insurance that includes preventive dental care complicates this matter. As a result, there are many conclusions to take from this research.
There are clear links between physical health conditions and oral health. For instance, research has found that individuals with Type II Diabetes are three times likelier than the general population to develop severe gum disease .
Moreover, an association between oral health problems and CAD has been found . Therefore, this research is useful to see the financial link between these conditions and dental care.
Dental insurance coverage varies from state to state. While most plans cover preventive care, not all do. Therefore, some people only opt to visit dental clinics for reactive care. For instance, such as when they are in pain and in need of urgent treatment.
This research looks at preventive dental care, which is dental care that includes regular check-ups, cleaning and non-surgical gum treatment. Reactive dental care involves urgent treatments such as fillings or sometimes a root canal treatment.
The research was published in the Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry . The researchers analyzed the connection between preventive dental care and the costs of care for people with Diabetes or CAD.
Researchers looked at the records of 11,734 adult patients that were enrolled in a commercial health plan in the state of Arkansas, USA . This health plan provided integrated preventive dental care coverage .
These patients had been enrolled in the health plan for at least a year during the time period of 2014 to 2018. The patients also either had Diabetes, CAD, or both .
The researchers focused on patient cohorts with 4 and 5 years of continuous enrolment in the plans. Then, they compared the healthcare costs of those who had at least one preventive dental visit each year of enrolment with patients who did not use dental care in that time . The researchers calculated the total costs by adding the claims for inpatient and outpatient care and prescription medication .
In conclusion, researchers found that it paid to get preventive care. The average annual cost of savings for patients receiving at least yearly dental care, compared to those who didn’t attend the dentist were :
• Patients with diabetes – $549 in cost savings
• Patients with coronary artery disease – $548 in cost savings
• Then, the patients with both conditions – $866 in cost savings
These findings show the importance of preventive care – not only from a health perspective, but a financial perspective too. Therefore. year-on-year, this is capable of saving those with these conditions a lot of money.
What this means
The findings of this research shows how important it is for everyone to attend preventive dental care. Problems only worsen if left alone, which is what happens with those purely using reactive dental care.
Some people believe that only receiving reactive care is a good way of saving money. However, as this research shows, this is not true. By this point, the patient will be in pain, and actually doing more damage in the long-term by not accessing treatment sooner.
Bijan Borah was the Lead Investigator of the study. He commented on the findings, stating that “preventive dental care was strongly associated with significant savings for patients with either condition, and even greater for patients with both” .
Borah continued by saying “”interestingly, the greatest cost savings came from reduced use of inpatient services”, which meant “a healthier mouth was associated with less hospitalizations” .
In conclusion, Borah said “our data shows that people with diabetes or coronary artery disease have reduced health care expenditures, including less likelihood of hospitalization, when receiving regular preventive dental care” . Finally, he said “this saves money, but more importantly, patients remain healthier” .
1) Do you engage in preventive care, or only visit the dentist when you are in pain? As this research shows, it is important to attend the dentist for preventive care – the most basic of which is check-ups. Check-ups allow a dentist to look at the overall state of your mouth, and provide you with advice and if needed – a treatment plan. We strongly recommend that you book a check-up soon!
2) If you have dental insurance, it is important to check what you are entitled to. We recommend having a form of insurance that includes preventive care. Remember, here at our Calgary dental clinic Taradale Dental that we use the Alberta Dental Fee Guide, which ensures we have transparent and cost-effective prices. We would love you to book an appointment with us soon!
What we offer at Taradale Dental
It is important for oral problems to be addressed early. Any dental problems will be identified at check-ups. This helps to prevent the problem getting worse. If and when further treatment is needed after a check-up, our patients receive a clear treatment plan that is suited to their needs.
The best way of avoiding extra treatment is to have strong oral hygiene. This includes brushing our teeth at least twice a day, flossing regularly, and getting a dental check-up at least twice a year. Avoiding sugary foods and drink and not smoking also helps.
Our Calgary-based dental clinic Taradale Dental also follows the Alberta Dental Fee Guide. This means our prices are competitive, transparent and affordable.
We would love you to visit us here at Taradale Dental soon! You can see more about us by visiting our website https://taradaledental.ca.
 Llambés, F., Arias-Herrera, S., & Caffesse, R. (2015). Relationship between diabetes and periodontal infection. World Journal of Diabetes. 6 (7): p927-935. DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.4239/wjd.v6.i7.927
 Lockhart, P. B., Bolger, A. F., Papapanou, P. N., Osibowale, O., Trevisan, M., Levison, M. E., Taubert, K. A., Newburger, J. W., Gornik, H. L., Gewitz, M. H., Wilson, W. R., Smith Jr, S. C., & Baddour, L. M. (2012). Periodontal disease and atherosclerotic vascular disease: does the evidence support an independent association?: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 125 (20): p2520-2544. DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0b013e31825719f3.
 Borah, B. J., Brotman, S. G., Dholakia, R., Dvoroznak, S., Jansen, M. T., Murphy, E. A., Naessens, J. M. (2022). Association Between Preventive Dental Care and Healthcare Cost for Enrollees With Diabetes or Coronary Artery Disease: 5-Year Experience. Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry. 43 (3).
 Zimmerman, E. (2022). Dental care reduces likelihood of hospitalization for people with diabetes or coronary artery disease. Available: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-dental-likelihood-hospitalization-people-diabetes.html. Last accessed: 14th May 2022.