Many people may feel that dental visits, such as those wellness checkups, might be unnecessary especially if they perceive nothing is wrong. In a recent study by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), nearly 25% surveyed did NOT associate that checkup with screening for oral cancer and even fewer (14%) viewed seeing their dentist as part of maintaining/improving general health.
So How does seeing my dentist more save on my health care costs?
Dentists are unique because no other health practitioner is supposed to be seen as frequently, even without any symptoms. The mouth is, quite literally, the gateway to the entire body. Poor oral hygiene can result in or worsen cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, and other illnesses. Regular dental visits, every 6 months, are a chance to establish an effective oral care program, become better educated, prevent disease, and get screened for other conditions.
Various studies have already shown the connection between oral health and cardiovascular health, but your dentist could be the first line of defense against other health issues such as anorexia and bulimia, as the first signs of these disorders often are revealed in the mouth. In fact, many systemic diseases have oral manifestations (e.g. swollen gums can be a sign of diabetes, oral cancer, or heart disease).
Having a strong relationship with your dentist can have both health AND monetary benefits – often people with a solid oral-care program experience better overall wellness and accrue lower health costs over their lifetime.