Bad Oral Health? Blame the Economy

***UPDATED: July 31, 2013*** Further statistical analysis has been completed to find out more on the connection between socio-economic status and receiving dental care.  The latest survey found that 56% of participants sought no preventative care and nearly 20% admitted that they have not been to the dentist in over a decade.  Researchers estimate that nearly 70% of uninsured Americans have at least one major dental need that has not been met, while a shocking 57% of insured Americans also have unmet dental needs.  The number one reason given for avoiding the dentist was still cost of services.  The investigation, reported on in a Dental-Tribune article, found that while the economy appears to be bouncing back, a significant population of Americans are still unable to afford much needed dental care.

Did you know that nearly 100 million adults across the country do not visit the dentist on a regular basis? Many believe that dental phobia, or fear, keeps these individuals from receiving the care and treatment they so desperately need.  After all, dentists have certainly been given a bad reputation for causing pain and agony with those nasty, noisy drills of theirs (thank goodness for sedation dentistry)! And while it is true that millions suffer from unthinkable anxiety in relation to dental work, the number one reason why most Americans avoid the dentist is not due to fear, but because of the uncertain economy.  They simply feel they can’t afford it.

Recently, a survey of more than 1,000 adults nationwide showed that approximately 36% of Americans put off dental treatments because of their current financial situation, according to a recent Dental Tribune article.  The study was conducted for one of the largest networks of dental care providers in America, Aspen Dental, between February 28, 2013 and March 3, 2013, and consisted of a telephone survey.  More than 30% of participants claimed that their salary has decreased in the last year, and a whopping 44% admitted to not having any dental insurance.  Unfortunately, routine dental care is often one of the corners people cut when things get tight, as confirmed by the survey.  Only 10% of those polled believe that dental visits are critical to overall well-being, leaving the other 90% to think they’re just not a necessity, and therefore, expendable.  Dr. Nathan Laughrey, responsible for running several Aspen Dental practices, believes that it is crucial to improve the public’s perception about the importance of dental care, specifically the link between gum disease and other serious conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.  Too many Americans wait until pain is intolerable, or a dental emergency occurs to get into the dentist, and even then, visits to the ER for avoidable conditions are becoming the norm.  This situation clearly contributes to the growing epidemic of oral disease facing Americans today.

Unfortunately, many individuals assume that they can’t afford dental treatments, so they simply ignore their oral health.  Little do many know, but dentists are well aware of this growing problem, and many are ready and willing to make sure that everyone has access to care.  The professionals at Miami Dental Sedation Spa are no exception, concerning themselves with their patients first, and payment later.  That is why they maximize the dental insurance coverage of each patient and accept several payment methods.  They also provide financing with 12 months free of interest. It’s time to stop treating dental care as an optional luxury, and recognize it as an essential component to good overall health.

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