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Preventive Dentistry

Improving Outcomes: Preventive Dentistry Is Essential to Good Oral Health.

There's no question that the science of dentistry has improved over the past 50 years – and dramatically improved people's lives.

Consider this: In the 1950s, most Americans age 65 and older had lost all their teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today, more than half the people in this age group report they've lost five teeth or fewer.

Five preventive factors in modern dentistry have combined to provide these better outcomes: the prevalence of fluoridated water, use of sealants, decreasing tobacco use, tooth brushing and flossing, and professional prophylaxis (routine cleanings).

These aren't the only advances, however, that have led to better outcomes. CompBenefits' Regional Dental Director Miguel Montilla also points to:
  • Improvements in periodontic (treatment of gum disease) and endodontic (treatment of tooth root and pulp diseases) therapy

  • The use of porcelain and resins to restore teeth while achieving life-like results

  • Implant prosthetics that allow for preservation of natural teeth

  • Improvements in home dental care, including dental floss and water picks

  • Increases in dental insurance benefits that encourage wider, earlier, and more frequent use of dentistry.
Although most dental disease is considered preventable, work remains to be done to ensure that all Americans have access to adequate preventive care. Water fluoridation provides an example of this. In “Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General," the U.S. Public Health Service reports that “community water fluoridation, an effective, safe, and ideal public health measure, benefits individuals of all ages and socioeconomic strata. Unfortunately, more than one third of the U.S. population (100 million people) are without this critical health measure."


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