America needs a dependable dental care plan in a growing dental crisis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-quarter of adults in the U.S. ages 65 and older have lost all of their teeth. And, according to a study called the PEW: A Costly Dental Destination, there were over 830,000 visits to emergency rooms across the country for preventable dental conditions in 2009 – a 16% increase since 2006. Since 2000, when the U.S. Surgeon General called dental disease a “silent epidemic” stating that this burden of disease is causing restrictions in activities in schools, at work and home. Dental disease can significantly diminish quality of life if left untreated.
Common dental problems in America
Bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, mouth sores, teeth erosion, sensitivity and infection are the popular dental problems. All of these dental problems can be treated to help stop the conditions from progressing and causing further damage. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Among adults aged 20-64, 91% had dental caries (i.e. cavities) and 27% had untreated tooth decay.”
According to Huffington Post, one reason dental disease is growing in America is because many people neglect purchasing dental insurance or a dental plan until it is too late. In an article based on growing numbers of why Americans are embarrassed to smile, Huff Post stated, “Nearly four of 10 adults surveyed said either they or a family member had delayed seeing a dentist during the last year because of the out-of-pocket costs they would have had to pay.”
Missing teeth? You aren’t alone
If you are suffering from tooth loss, there are remedies to help with your affliction. When you lose teeth, the lack of stimulus can cause the loss of the alveolar bone, which affects the external width, height, and volume of the bone. There is approximately a 25% decrease in the width of bone during the first year of tooth loss, which can increase over time. The necessary stimulation comes from the teeth themselves and if you lose your teeth, it can result in bone loss and may lead to change in the formation of your face.
Fortunately, there are procedures that can help prevent the destruction of your alveolar bone. Dentures can assist with aesthetics and help prevent bone loss in the jaw. Another option, dental implant surgery, is a popular procedure that replaces the missing teeth in our mouth with artificial, natural-looking roots and teeth. But what if you don’t have dental insurance? Depending on how many teeth you need replaced, you could end up hundreds to thousands of dollars on dentures or implants.
Many dental insurance plans require a waiting period up to one year until the policy will cover the appropriate surgery to remedy the problem. People who can’t afford a procedure may end of “living with” tooth loss or decay because they can’t afford to pay for dental services. Americans who have lost teeth due to decay or an injury may benefit from dental implants, but, unfortunately may opt out of the procedure due to the period of time it takes for coverage to kick in. Dental plans, however, do not require a waiting period and may be a better solution for certain dental or surgical procedures.
How to deal with a dental problem
If you know you have a dental problem and are seeking a dental professional to help, how do you go about finding the most affordable and reputable dentist or surgeon? We all deserve the best quality of treatment but trying to find a dental specialist can be daunting.Searching the internet for the best price on dental treatments is a good way to narrow your search, but you can also ask friends for referrals for dentists, periodontists and other dental professionals who specialize in dental implants or reconstructive practices.Contacting several dentists to inquire about quotes for X-rays, check-ups and dental procedures will help evaluate and compare costs associated with your dental problem.
Getting dental coverage for dental care
Call your dental insurance company to inquire if they cover the procedure you need. If you don’t currently have dental insurance, you may want to consider a dental plan to help pay for your bill.According to Health Resources and Services Administration, about 108 million people in the U.S. have no dental insurance. Even those who are covered may have trouble getting care.
Dental plans like Aetna can help you find the best plan according to the procedure you need or by the dentist you want to visit. A dental plan will also provide access to a nationwide network of dentists available. These dentists within your plan’s network have agreed to offer deep discounts on dental services to plan members. You get to enjoy big savings on your dental care and the dentist doesn’t have to deal with insurance company red tape, file paperwork, or wait for reimbursements Aetna developed Vital Savings Plans to help uninsured and under-insured people access quality dental care that is affordable and easy to obtain.
Americans shouldn’t stop trying to find an affordable way to take care of teeth and gums. We need to speak up and find a way out of the dental crisis by educating fellow Americans about affordable solutions. Putting a voice behind the silent epidemic is one way to help prevent dental disease. Finding a way to treat dental problems doesn’t have to be difficult – but it does require taking the first step in the right direction.
Save 15% to 50%* at the Dentist
With an Aetna Dental Savings Plan.