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Understanding the Comprehensive Care Provided by Dentists

In healthcare, comprehensive means dealing with all aspects or elements of something. When it comes to dentistry, comprehensive care refers to all of the treatments and services that are offered by dentists to help you achieve your optimal dental health. Providing comprehensive dental care is one of the most efficient ways to deliver treatment as it provides patients with all of the services they need under one roof. This allows for streamlined, consolidated treatment that can save time and money.

In the US, many adults have inadequate access to dental care. Over 132 million children and adults lack adequate oral health coverage, and nearly a third of US general dentists do not accept Medicaid. In addition, people without insurance are more likely to delay needed dental care. As a result, dental disease progresses untreated and is associated with expensive hospital visits and poorer health outcomes.

A growing body of evidence shows that oral and systemic (whole-body) health are linked. However, dental care is still siloed from medical care and oral health practitioners are often not integrated into primary care practices or encouraged to share patient data. The Health Level Seven(r) Common Data Architecture(r) and Fast Healthcare Interoperability Standards(r)(FHIR) implementation guides are designed to bridge the gap and facilitate a more coordinated approach to whole-person care, including dental and medical integration.

While individual dentists’ comfort and interest in performing procedures influence procedure provision, they may also be influenced by factors such as practice infrastructure, patient demographics and access to specialists. Furthermore, it is unclear whether differences in treatment provided to patients with private versus public insurance are driven by provider preferences or by differences in patient need. This study examines the variation in procedure provision by dentists based on patient type using survey data from private-practice general dentists in Iowa.

Results indicate that dentists who see more publicly insured patients are less likely to perform esthetic and restorative procedures in their practices, such as endodontic therapy on molar teeth and implants. In contrast, dentists who see more privately insured patients are more likely to provide these services. The results suggest that dental insurance policy reforms are necessary to increase the number of adults with access to routine and preventive care, reduce racial disparities in service delivery and improve overall patient outcomes. Furthermore, a reshaping of clinical education to include more breadth and depth of knowledge can help prepare dentists for a broader role in patient care.

Are you considering a visit to a dentist in Torrance, California? Visiting a dentist is an essential step in safeguarding your oral health and overall wellness. With their expertise, dedication, and personalized approach to care, Torrance dentists are committed to helping you achieve and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.

Published inHealth & Wellness

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