The effect of periodontal disease on health care costs

Prevention of periodontal disease may lead to saving of not only dental care but also medical care costs.

Health care costs are useful units of measurement with which one can assess the economic impact of periodontal disease. Today, investigators presenting at the 84th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research reported the results of a study to evaluate the effects of periodontal disease on the use and costs of medical and dental care.

Using data from worksite health and dental examinations and health insurance claims of 4,285 civil officers aged 40-59 years, the researchers evaluated the effect of periodontal disease on medical and dental costs and utilization prospectively. Those with severe periodontitis accrued 21 percent higher total costs than those with no pathological pocket (periodontal pocket probing depth less than 4 mm) over the 3.5-year period. The admission rates of those with severe periodontitis were high for both sexes. In males, the dental costs for this group were approximately two-fold higher than those with no pathological pockets.

The investigators concluded that periodontal disease has a significant impact on health care cost increases, through not only dental care costs but also inpatient care costs, especially in males.

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This is a summary of abstract #1779, "The Effect of Periodontal Disease on Health Care Costs," by R. Ide, T. Hoshuyama, and K. Takahashi, of the Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan, being presented at 11:00 a.m. in Exhibit Hall 1 of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, during the 84th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research.


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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