This message, also the driving force behind a study and campaign funded by the Dental Trade Alliance (DTA) gained ground with a message shared this week by DTA President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Price, the leader of the association that represents dental manufacturers, distributors and laboratories.

“If every American had a dental appointment every year, the overall health of the nation would improve. That’s because we know that oral health is essential to overall health. The body of research showing a strong connection between oral disease and systemic diseases is growing.

We want the government, American business and the American people to understand that regular oral health care makes economic sense. Last year, we commissioned a local university professor of health economics to study the cost-benefit of expanding oral health care. The study provided critically important results.

Using the study as a basis, we have developed a campaign to spread the message that oral health care makes financial sense for all of our economy.  We intend to provide this message to government policymakers and the decision makers in businesses – large and small – across the country. If you would like additional copies of the white papers or pamphlets to distribute in your community, please contact us.

In its overview, the study offers examples of the value of more widespread oral care. A few:

Diabetes: Diabetes not only worsens in the presence of gum disease but also serves as a risk factor for gum disease. If 60% of people with diabetes better managed their oral health, savings could equal close to $39 billion per year.

Emergency Room Visits: Many people wait until their dental pain becomes severe and end up in the ER, which is much costlier than care in a dental office. If 50% of dental-related emergency room visits were handled in a community setting, the system could save around $826 million.

Oral Cancer: Routine dental visits help detect oral cancer early on, which can lead to less complicated treatments, lower costs and higher survival rates. If 20% more oral cancer cases were detected early, estimated annual savings would range from $338 million to $495 million.

Find more details, including dollar amounts of savings related to lung disease, dental sealants, and pregnancy at:

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Uma Kelekar, Ph.D.

All research was prepared for the Dental Trade Alliance by Uma Kelekar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Healthcare Management, Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia. Her study highlights the significant, direct economic benefit to government and business of providing dental benefits to all Americans.