Dental health is a key aspect of your overall health and wellness. If you have gum disease or a tooth infection that goes untreated it can cause major health issues and could ultimately be fatal. Unfortunately, a recent study reveals that people are avoiding going to the dentist due to financial issues even if they have health insurance.
Breaking down the Numbers
The study looked at fully insured adults ages 18-65 during the year 2015. In March 2015 they asked these individuals if they had any unmet health care needs due to financial constraints and found that despite having health insurance (even under the Affordable Care Act or ACA, commonly called Obamacare), 28.2% of people had unmet healthcare needs. Of those with unmet needs, a staggering 71.4% had unmet need for dental care, about 20.1% of all adults surveyed. Of those with unmet needs, 28.9% claiming dental care as their only unmet need and 42.5% claiming that dental care was among one of their several unmet needs. All of this was due to financial constraints. Among low-income workers who are fully insured, 30.8% reported unmet dental care needs.
This is in part because the ACA doesn’t provide for dental insurance for adults. As a result, large numbers of adults just can’t get coverage for their dental care, including preventive dental care.
Tips to Reduce Cost
Going to the dentist is often not high on people’s list of enjoyable activities, and getting a big dental bill at the end of a visit only makes the situation worse. It is important to remember that regularly going to the dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings can actually save you money in the long run. The fact is, extensive reconstruction such as dental implants and porcelain crowns can be very expensive, but if you practice good dental hygiene and make a trip to the dentist a regular part of your routine you will not have to resort to those expensive procedures. And if you do need a more expensive procedure, dental financing can help you fit it in your budget.
Another important thing to remember is that often people’s fear of the dentist is enough to keep them away. There are a lot of different ways to keep calm at the dentist and sedation dentistry is a great way to go if you find that dentist visits fill you with dread.