LEARN MORE ABOUT ORAL DISEASES
Tooth decay and gum disease are the most expensive chronic conditions in America, and are amongst the most common (refer to the following table). Personal spending on dental problems by Americans exceeds that on diabetes and heart disease. The expense of dental care is the biggest reason why 4 in 10 American adults (and Canadian adults), largely with Special Needs, Complex Needs and Geriatric Needs do not regularly receive dental care.
This lack of access to oral health care has consequences – for example, more hospitalization and more use of the Emergency Room as reported by several American health insurers.
At the level of the individual, recent intervention studies show that a diabetic with healthier gums can improve or stabilize glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) levels, and that a person with COPD, has fewer wheezing events. Similar studies are showing better oral health leads to improvements in hypertension, and reduced risks of aspiration pneumonia and mild cognitive decline.
So, developing more cost-effective models of managing oral diseases has become urgent for containing overall healthcare costs and improving treatment outcomes in healthcare. CHX’s new model involves treating the cause of poor oral health not the consequences, and integrating preventive oral health services into the patient’s visit to the doctor, the hospital and in geriatric care.