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    The next big thing in dentistry is already here

    What will dentistry look like, and how will it operate, when it is integrated with primary care?

    How much is good health care worth? Is it worth $8,233 per year per person? That’s what we spend in the U.S. That figure is more than 2.5 times what most developed nations in the world spend on health care, including the relatively rich European countries like France, Sweden and the U.K.

    In the U.S., healthcare costs are now 17.6 percent of the GDP; in Australia, it is 9.4 percent of the GDP; Germany 11.3 percent of the GDP; and France 11.6 percent of the GDP. 

    What’s predicted is that by 2025 healthcare costs in the U.S. will be at or above 20 percent or more of the GDP. Unsustainable. Untenable. Unmaintainable.

    Trending article: How to grow your dental practice in a competitive market

    Medical teamNow, put dentistry in the middle of this health care cost quandary.

    • Fact: Percentage of patients per population who see a dentist is dipping. Studies show this is due primarily to cost, but also availability of dentists. 

    • Fact: There is a well-established connection between oral disease and chronic systemic diseases. Some of these inter-relationships are now well proven, while others continue to be explored.

    • Fact: Dentistry significantly improves treatment outcomes for certain chronic diseases. 

    Trending article: 7 more of the scariest medical conditions with links to oral health

    Given these facts, significant pressures will be laid on dentistry—economic pressure, political pressure and social pressure. Dentistry will feel a lot more weight to figure out how to treat more patients at a cost that’s within the health care system’s budget.    

    People who do not have access to a dentist—especially if they have certain chronic diseases—will find their disease state will accelerate at a much more rapid rate and be more severe. The bottom line is without dentistry, it will cost the health care system considerably much more money to treat and manage certain chronic diseases.

    Now what?

    Continue to page two to read more...

    Dr. Marc Cooper
    Dr. Cooper's professional career includes private periodontist, academician, researcher, teacher, practice management consultant, ...

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