Why Is Oral Health Important? You May Be Surprised

Friday, April 19, 2024
Why Is Oral Health Important? You May Be Surprised

Why is oral health important? The first two obvious reasons that come to mind are: No one likes cavities, and everyone likes a bright smile. But a surprising statistic from a recent study exposes a startling reason you may not have realized: Adults in the U.S. miss more than 243 million hours of productivity each year due to their oral health problems or problems of children and other adults in their care.

Preventative dental care is critical in reducing the chance of a condition accelerating to the point where productivity is lost. However, an estimated 92% of people put off dental care because they are concerned about the expense. Ensuring it is available and affordable is key. Penn Dental Family Practice (PDFP) explains why dental insurance is important in making it happen.

Oral Health, Preventative Dental Care, and the Bottom Line

A young man smiles as a dental hygienist holds dental instruments near his mouth. The 243 million hours of lost productivity mentioned above have a financial impact. Those lost hours cost an estimated $45 billion each year. Beyond that, children’s lost school time can have a lifelong impact on their learning and earnings. It’s hard to put a price tag on that.

Additionally, poor oral health can lead to serious health issues. First and foremost is periodontal disease (gum disease). As the mouth is a gateway to the rest of the body, bacteria from oral infections can easily spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream.

Conditions that can develop include:

  • Heart disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Respiratory infections.
  • High-risk pregnancy.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Cancer.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Kidney disease.

These serious resulting health conditions support the importance of preventative dental care. Unfortunately, dental care inequity occurs when the cost causes people to put off or avoid it. Addressing the inequity is critical to bringing care within reach of anyone who needs it.

Why Dental Insurance Is Important

A set of teeth holding $100 bills next to dental tools.Signing up for dental insurance can help bridge the dental-care inequity gap by making preventative care more affordable and accessible. “Dental insurance plays a crucial role in removing dental care inequity because it ensures people have access to preventative dental care,” explains Bruce Brandolin, DDS, Associate Clinical Professor and Assistant Dean of Intramural and Extramural Partnerships at PDFP. “When care is made more affordable and easy to get, it reduces the likelihood of costly and painful dental issues in the future.”

At PDFP, we make dental care accessible through our lower treatment costs. We also accept most third-party insurance plans as payment to help lower costs even further. Our administrative staff will work with you directly to see how your plan’s coverage syncs up with our services.

Additionally, if you are a Penn employee, we offer three dental insurance plans that help cover up to 100% of necessary dental care. Open enrollment starts in May, so now is the perfect time to enroll.

Make a Preventative Dental Care Appointment Today

A woman smiles after her preventative dental care.At Penn Dental Family Practice in Philadelphia, you get access to outstanding oral health professionals committed to providing you with the highest quality care and results. Now that you know why oral health is important, you should protect yourself and your family from the financial and health consequences of putting it off by scheduling a visit.

Click here or call 215-898-PDFP (7337) to make an appointment today. Then, relax—you’ve taken an important step toward preserving your productivity, preventing unnecessary pain and discomfort, and supporting your overall physical and financial well-being.