Preventing Dental Emergency Room Visits

Emergency sign

Did you know that the majority of dental related emergency room visits are due to dental decay, which is preventable with good oral care and regular visits to a dentist.1

The costs of an emergency room visit are significantly higher than for a regular dental visit, too. In addition, most hospitals are not equipped to provide comprehensive dental care and can only provide pain relief or antibiotics, which is a temporary solution. Because of this, many patients who do not seek follow up care with a dentist often return to the emergency with the same problem.1 Untreated dental decay can lead to serious pain, infection, and could ultimately result in a more expensive treatment, such as root canal, crown, infection treatment, or even the loss of the tooth.

Oral Health Link to Overall Health

Another reason regular dental care is so important is the link between oral health and overall health. Here are some of the links oral health has to other health conditions:

  • According to the American Dental Association and the Mayo Clinic, diabetes and oral health are linked.2,3 The Mayo Clinic states that advanced gum disease, which destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth, tends to be more severe among people who have diabetes because diabetes lowers your ability to resist infection and slows healing.3
  • Certain conditions such as stroke may be linked to dental health. In fact, the bacteria present in gum diseases may contribute to your stroke risk.4

In addition, a dentist can detect signs of oral cancer during an oral health exam.

Many of our Medicare Advantage plans may include routine dental or offer the option to add an Optional Supplemental Benefit (OSB) for dental coverage. To find out more about your plan benefits and find an in-network dentist, call the number on the back of your Humana member ID card.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor to determine what is right for you.

Sources:

  1. http://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/action-for-dental-health/er-referral(link opens in new window)
  2. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/diabetes(link opens in new window)
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes/art-20043848(link opens in new window)
  4. https://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm(link opens in new window)