WDA launches oral health campaign

The Wisconsin Dental Association (WDA) has launched the Own Your Smile campaign to motivate adults to make good oral health a priority.

The WDA is encouraging people to seek affordable, preventive care in member dentists' practices for long-term value, regardless if they have dental insurance or not, according to the association.

ADA research shows adult dental care spending remained flat through 2012 over the prior year and has not rebounded as other sectors have in the postrecession recovery.

In a recent statewide survey, 75% of Wisconsin adults said regular dental exams and cleanings by a dentist are "important" to "very important" for controlling dental costs. Some 75% of respondents also felt having dental insurance was "important" to "very important" for affording regular dental exams and cleanings.

On average over a 12-month period in Wisconsin, it costs an established adult patient $26 per month for two routine cleanings and dental exams and one set of x-rays, surveys show. This compares to an average, monthly cellphone bill of $63 per month, according to the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey.

In 2010, Wisconsin health officials reported that more than 27,860 patient visits to hospital emergency rooms were for nontraumatic dental problem, with an average cost of $420.

The cost of dental treatment increased 2.3% from 2010 to 2012, or less than the cost of all consumer goods (2.6%), medical care (3.5%), hospital services (5.2%), prescription drugs (3.9%), and physician services (2.4%), according to the ADA.

Adults with poor oral health lose an estimated 164 million work hours annually in the U.S., according to the U.S. surgeon general.

Page 1 of 96
Next Page