The Dental Trade Alliance (DTA) believes it has a way to save the U.S. health care system, government and businesses billions of dollars a year and make Americans healthier. The secret: Get people to the dentist every year.

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DIABETES: The biggest declines in hospitalization were associated with patients with diabetes, as it was shown that controlling periodontal involvement could save up to $39 billion annually in health care costs.

PREGNANCY: Poor oral health is associated with low birth weight, preterm birth, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Jeffcoat’s study found an average savings of $2433 per pregnancy when mothers received periodontal treatment.

LUNG DISEASE: Because the oral cavity retains respiratory pathogens, oral hygiene is a cost-effective therapy for patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). When clinical staff in one intensive care unit administered an oral care treatment costing $3 per patient, they saw VAP cases — which can cost $10,000 to $40,000 each — decrease by 46%.2

References: Decisions In Dentistry