Treatment for Gum Disease May Reduce Costs for Diabetes Care

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People with diabetes may have a new way to save costs on treatment.

A new study from CIGNA shows that there may be a correlation between treating periodontal disease and diminished medical costs for diabetes patients. The study was unveiled at the International Association for Dental Research meeting in San Diego.

This new finding backs up the previous CIGNA research regarding treating gum disease and the effect it has on diabetes.

This new information was generated after analyzing the results of patients who were treated for gum disease in the first year and then received regular maintenance treatment. The results were then compared to patients who did not receive the regular maintenance work. The ensuing medical costs were about 23 percent lower for patients who had undergone the necessary gum disease care and regular maintenance, according to the study.

This study gives more credence to the idea that it’s essential for people with diabetes to maintain proper care on their gums. This is done by regular visits to the dentist or periodontist. They can ensure better health and save money by doing so.

This study was done over a three-year period from 2006 through 2008. More than 46,000 people were considered in the study and it included people with CIGNA coverage from ages 18 to 62. The cost analysis for individuals was done for about 3,500 patients.

The people who created this study were Dr. Clay Hedlund, a CIGNA dental director; Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat, Dean Emeritus and professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; Dr. Robert Genco, a SUNY Distinguished Professor, University at Buffalo Schools of Dental Medicine; and Dr. Nipul Tanna, clinical assistant professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Drs. Jeffcoat and Genco are members of the CIGNA Dental Clinical Advisory Panel.