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What’S The Real Cost Of Emergency Dentistry In America?

Dr Martin Abelar - October 29, 2020 - 0 comments

A recent study by Texas A&M University School of Public Health and published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry has revealed the real cost of dentistry without insurance. This cost comes not only to the patient but to the taxpayer as well. The study found that those who end up without insurance typically include those with low socioeconomic status, those with chronic health problems, children with special needs, and young adults. Due to this lack of insurance, many in this category are often forced to treat oral health problems like tooth infections and cavities in an emergency room setting.

Worse yet, the pain associated with these problems often goes unresolved, or simply treated with medication and not actually healed via dental work, allowing the problems to worsen with time, and putting the patient at risk for dependency on strong painkillers.

While many in these categories may simply not have access to adequate dental insurance, experts encourage those who do have the option to purchase a dental insurance plan and to use it. Regular cleanings and screenings are the best way to head off any emerging dental problems such as cavities and gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.

Experts also encourage policymakers to expand dental coverage to those on programs such as Medicaid, as oral health problems in emergency rooms are increasing year upon year. Currently, dental issues constitute 1.15 to 2.5 percent of all emergency room visits annually. Researchers stress while these numbers seem tiny, they add up to about $2 billion dollars each year in government spending.

So, what’s the solution to this problem? Doctors say maintaining excellent oral health is the best way to prevent these problems from occurring, but for those who already have issues present, getting seen by a dentist at their earliest convenience is paramount. If you are unsure if you can afford a dental visit, call the dentist’s office and ask for pricing. While it is usually impossible to know how much it may cost to treat a cavity or other issue, clinics can usually quote an out of pocket exam fee, which will be able to diagnose the problem and formulate a treatment plan, including a fee quote.

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