We are talking about millions of Americans who simply cannot get even basic dental treatment. A basic or a routine dental problem will later turn into a more serious one, which will affect the overall health of the patient.
Dental care in general is quite a problematic health niche, mainly because not everybody has access to proper dental services. There cannot be said the best words about the oral health and dental care system in America.
The biggest problem is that low-income people with terrible, throbbing dental pain cannot lead their lives normally. They cannot work with pain, they cannot go out with friends and socialize, and they are basically not efficient at anything they do. These people who are “forced” to live with dental pain, are basically the low-income people of the society. It is always the low-income strata of society which is wronged!
Some statistics show that as many as 59% of the American low-income adults do not have any dental coverage. Then, about 38% do not have any kind of health insurance coverage, while about 21% do have some sort of health insurance, but no coverage for dental treatments.
Now, the greatest majority of these low-income people probably didn’t went to see the dentist too recently, and some of them might struggle with quite severe dental complications. From tooth abscesses to severe gum disease, there is a large spectrum of problems that can appear if the patient does not have access to basic dental treatments.
Dental Checkups and Dental Insurance
– quite amazing, but 50% of those who have insurance and dental coverage do not go for regular checkups
– about 73% of the people who have general insurance, but no dental coverage, will not go for checkups either
– a whopping 83% of the uninsured people will not have a regular checkup
– even though they have got dental coverage, about 9% are not even able to get the dental care/treatments they need
– even though insured but without dental coverage, abut 18% cannot get the dental care they need
From those low-income people who have got dental coverage on their policy, about 55% admit they cannot have access to affordable dental treatments that they need. We are not talking about the cosmetic dentistry treatments such as veneers or teeth whitening, but about the basic dental care such as a filling, an extraction or a dental crown.
Regarding people who are not healthy for some reason or other, about 71% of them never have dental checkups. As a contrast, about 65% of the healthy people generally do not go for dental checkups. Unfortunately, “going to the dentist” has become a phase used only when there is also pain present. But then, the problem might already be too complex, and this requires more money for successful treatment.
After having dental treatment, many low-income families report that they will put up with a period of financial constraint. Approximately 40% will try to spend less for the basic personal things, while the rest of 60% will have serious problems actually paying the medical bills.
Dental Insurance and Coverage
– about 58% of the patients with private dental insurance do not have dental check ups
– 56% of those adults who have public health coverage, again do not have dental checkups
– even of those with private coverage, about 9% cannot get the needed dental care treatments, while among those with public dental coverage the percentage rises to 15%
Then, sometimes it is not even about the fact whether someone owns a private or a public insurance. It is about the fact that some people don’t even know where to turn for affordable dental care.
Affordable Dental Care and Uninsured
– 77% of people have no idea where to search for affordable dental care solutions
– about 72% of those with public dental insurance, do not know where to search for dental care that is affordable
– even of those with private dental insurance, about 82% have no clue where to search for affordable dental treatment
– out of the people who are uninsured, 79% do not know where to search for affordable treatments
There are only very few patients who know where to turn for help. Generally, dental treatments for the uninsured or the low-income people are offered in quite few locations and for short times. You either manage to register and get the care, or you don’t.
The free dental camp may be available same time next year, but you really cannot wait that long. However, in medium or high income families, it is not even such a big problem if they don’t know where to turn for affordable/discounted dental treatments. They can generally manage to have access to proper care through the insurance policy they have, or simply by undertaking dental tourism options.
All of the statistics presented here are based on the Kaiser Low-Income Coverage and Access survey. What is the most important, is that people from low-income families do not have access to affordable dental care.
This is either because of the total lack of an insurance policy, or because dental coverage is not included in the health insurance, or simply because people do not know where to turn for affordable dental care.
Affordable dental care service are not even affordable today as they used to, because of obvious economic and Government budget reasons. Even employers try to save some money by not offering or offering very little dental coverage. With the Internet being such a huge pool of free resources, it is important to raise the awareness and teach people to use the web in order to find affordable dental care services.