A study that was published in the April issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association found a link between periodontal treatment and lower health care costs for diabetics.
In the cover story, “Periodontal Treatment Associated With Decreased Diabetes Mellitus-Related Treatment Costs: An Analysis of Dental and Medical Claims Data,” it was examined how much diabetes patients who had received periodontal care between 2017 and 2018 would have to pay in 2019 for outpatient, inpatient, and drug treatments. Medicaid and private insurance databases were used in the analysis.
According to the study, periodontal therapy reduced overall health care costs for patients with commercial insurance by 12% when compared to patients who did not receive therapy. For patients with Medicaid, the overall cost dropped by 14%.
In addition to overall costs, periodontal therapy was linked to lower outpatient medical expenses for patients with Medicaid as well as those with commercial insurance. However, there were no appreciable variations in inpatient expenses for those with commercial insurance or drug expenses for Medicaid beneficiaries.
The authors of the study concluded that “a healthy mouth can play a key role in [diabetes mellitus] management DM.” Medicaid benefits could be increased to cover comprehensive periodontal care, which could lower costs for DM patients.