03/14/2014

Dental chairside health assessments could save millions


A recent ADA study finds that dentists could save the health care system millions of dollars each year by incorporating overall health assessments into chairside screenings.

Specifically, the ADA Health Policy Resources Center found that savings could reach $102.6 million each year, simply by conducting screening for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol in the dental office. The study focuses on cost savings from medical screenings conducted by dentists on "adults 40 and older who had undiagnosed diabetes, hypercholesterolemia or hypertension."

On an individual basis, the study says that overall health screenings could save $13.51 to $32.72 per person each year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7.8 percent of the U.S. population has undiagnosed hypertension, 2.7 percent has undiagnosed diabetes and 8.2 percent has undiagnosed high cholesterol.

The importance of good oral health is often linked to maintaining overall health. Several studies have demonstrated an association between gum disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke -- establishing the correlation between a healthy mouth and a healthy body.

For more information on the study, visit ada.org.

(Source: ADA News)

Topics: Oral Health


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