Relationship between periodonta treatment and overall cost of care for several diseases

Chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus (DM), coronary artery disease (CAD), and cerebrovascular disease (CVD) have been associated with periodontal disease.

The association between periodontal infection and systemic health has important implications for the treatment and management of patients. Systemic health is often associated with the condition of the oral cavity, in that many systemic diseases manifest in the mouth; however, less is known about the connection between a diseased periodontium and the impact it may have on systemic health.

Today, at the 35th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, a team of investigators from the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine (New York, NY) and Aetna Dental (Hartford, CT) reported findings from a study that investigated the effect of periodontal treatment on Per Member Per Month (PMPM) costs for DM, CAD, and CVD, in a population of 144,225 patients with both medical and dental insurance.

Periodontal care appeared to have a sequencing effect on the cost of medical care in this two-year study (2001, 2002), with earlier treatment resulting in lower medical costs for DM, CVD, and CAD. The PMPM expenditures were lower for DM and CAD if periodontal disease treatment commenced in the first year of the two-year study.

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