“We are pleased to report, significant savings in medical costs when patients with gum disease received treatment,” lead researcher Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat, professor and dean emeritus at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine, said in a news release.
The study involved more than 338,891 individuals over a five-year period (2005-2009) with both Highmark medical insurance and United Concordia dental coverage. All individuals had gum disease and one or more of following conditions: type 2 diabetes, cerebral vascular disease, coronary artery disease and/or pregnancy.
United Concordia said periodontal treatment was associated with statistically significant decreases in annual medical costs, as follows:
• 40.2 percent, or $2,840 per year, in patients with diabetes
• 40.9 percent, or $5,681, for those with cerebral vascular disease
• 10.7 percent, or $1,090, for those with coronary artery disease
• and 73.7 percent, or $2,433, for those who became pregnant.
Additionally, hospital admissions decreased by 39.4 percent, 21.2 percent and 28.6 percent in patients with type 2 diabetes, cerebral vascular and coronary artery disease, respectively, according to United Concordia.
“All findings show the importance of treating and managing a person’s periodontal health and how that affects one’s overall health,” said Dr. James Bramson, chief dental officer of United Concordia.
United Concordia, part of the Highmark family of companies, is one of the nation’s largest dental insurers, with more than 98,700 dentists and more than 6 million members.