Many Americans are not going for essential visits to their dentist due to high cost. The most affected are working-age adults of which 13 percent reported skipping their dental appointments because of the price tag.
Even for people with private insurance, cost was the main reason they didn’t go for regular dental care. Study author Marko Vujicic said, “It seems like medical insurance is doing a better job at protecting consumers from financial hardship than dental insurance. Anything beyond checkups, like getting a cavity filled or a root canal and a crown, you’re looking right away at 20 to 50 percent coinsurance.”
Typical filling fees range from $86 to $606, root canals between $511 to $1,274, and $309 to $1,274 for a crown, based on the 2013 American Dental Association’s (ADA) Health Policy Institute survey.
It’s important that employers offering dental plans to their workers emphasize the value of dental care as it spans beyond just oral health. Poor dental hygiene can lead to a host of different health complications, resulting in missed work and reduced productivity.
The researchers believe that instead of paying per procedure, dental benefits should give the dentists an incentive to care for patients’ overall oral health.