PLANTATION, FL--(Marketwired - January 18, 2017) - Obamacare did little to address the growing public health crisis of adult oral wellness. And as 2017 commences, it is unclear whether providing access to affordable dental care will be on the political agenda over the next four years.
Bill Chase, vice president of marketing for :DentalPlans, believes that 2017 will bring increased awareness of the essential role good oral health plays in our overall wellbeing.
"Medical research continues to reveal how important it is for people to have access to affordable dental care," said Chase. "You simply can't be healthy if your teeth and gums are not. And, we need to stop separating health care from dental care, and find sensible ways to make quality care affordable to all."
:DentalPlans believes the following dental health issues will also make headlines in 2017:
Alternative/Voluntary benefits: With out of pocket medical care costs on the rise, health discount plans will become increasingly popular. These benefits include savings on dental care, plus discounts on telemedicine, vision, hearing, health concierge and advocacy services, medical bill negotiation, and other services. Businesses will offer these plans to employees as a cost-effective way of enhancing benefits packages, while individuals will purchase plans to enhance their primary insurance coverage.
Regenerating teeth: Research into regenerating tooth enamel and dental pulp -- even growing healthy new teeth and bone -- offers some very promising possibilities for enhancing dental health and restoring fully-functional natural teeth. Our cells can, in theory, regenerate teeth, but that power is not currently "turned on." Studies are underway using technologies such as low-power lasers to stimulate renewed dentin cell growth.
Innovative cosmetic treatments: New and improved smile enhancement technologies will capture the public's attention. This includes dentist-prescribed tooth whitening pens that deliver a gleaming smile with a few swipes, lasers to neaten up a "gummy" grin and reshape teeth without drilling, and affordable 3D printers dentists can use to construct a new smile within hours instead of weeks.
New ways to pay: Traditional dental insurance typically does not cover cosmetic treatments, such as implants, whitening, and potentially many of the newer dental care options. Dental savings plans, medical tourism, health care savings accounts, and in-house dental practice payment plans will be in the news this year, as people look for alternative ways to fill the cost gaps in programs such as Medicare and traditional insurance coverage.
Hygienists in the spotlight: There will be discussion around the benefits of dental hygienists performing routine procedures, such as filling cavities, freeing the dentist to focus on providing advanced treatments. This may make basic preventive care more affordable, and allow dentists to help more people with health-threatening dental issues.
"It's bound to be an interesting year in dental care," said Chase. "But, to me, the most exciting news would be that every American finally has the access to quality, affordable dental care they need and deserve."
:DentalPlans, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives. For more information, visit us at www.dentalplans.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Twitter (PR), Pinterest and YouTube.