Adults in the United States spend more than twice as much on health care as the average American. There is a significant shortage of licensed, competent dental health professionals in the U.S. An estimated half million Americans do not have dental health insurance, and a similar number do not have regular oral health care. In these circumstances, when oral health care is not adequately addressed, serious dental problems can result, leading to severe discomfort and even pain requiring major medical attention. In the unfortunate event that an emergency arises, it’s often too late. By the time a tooth emergency is identified, the patient may be suffering needlessly, as there are not enough mental health professionals to turn to for assistance.
Adults in the U.S. spend more than twice as much as children and seniors on average for annual dental care, despite the fact that adults account for a higher percentage of the population. Because most individuals live with both a primary care physician and a dentist, many do not get routine preventive care or dental coverage. The result is that when they do suffer a tooth ache or other oral health issue, they often have limited and expensive options. As people age, they are more likely to require additional and more comprehensive health care.
Adults can avoid this unnecessary suffering by obtaining adequate and effective dental care. Adults can also make wise decisions about their own health care by educating themselves on the proper dental care and health maintenance that should be carried out at an age-appropriate level. In the U.S., most adults receive general, preventative care through family physicians. Often, these physicians are less equipped to handle complex, or specialty, issues that require advanced treatment.
Because family dentists do not specialize in dental care, many provide “generically acceptable” care that leaves many patients dissatisfied with the level of service they receive. On the other hand, there are other options available to adult patients seeking low cost, quality oral health care. For example, many insurance companies cover the costs of basic oral health exams, as well as some of the costs of specialty procedures like laser tooth whitening and dental implants. Some insurers offer major dental and surgical plans that can help families to shoulder the cost of more complicated and costly dental treatments, including braces, implants, and even cosmetic procedures.
In addition to receiving preventative services through their regular doctors, many adults prefer to work with a private, independent provider. These professionals are most often able to offer more advanced and specialized services, such as orthodontia, sedation dentistry, cosmetic surgery, and advanced prosthetics. This type of health care in adults’ can be especially beneficial for those adults who are suffering from serious health conditions, including diabetes and obesity.
Adults are beginning to realize the benefits of health care in adults. Many have gone from being overlooked to being regarded as an important part of their health picture. More adults are choosing to put off major surgeries or corrective dental work in favor of general prevention measures, but these same individuals find that they can still enjoy routine, preventive care at low or no cost. The ability to control one’s own health is a very valuable feature, especially as more adults get older and begin to suffer from age-related diseases and problems.