:DentalPlans Takes a Look at 2017 Dental Care Trends and Innovations

DentalPlans_LogoWith 2017 now here, it is unclear whether providing access to affordable dental care will be on the political agenda, says Bill Chase, vice president of marketing for :DentalPlans, though he believes this new year “will bring increased awareness of the essential role good oral health plays in our lives.”

“You can’t be healthy if your teeth/gums are not,” said Chase. “We need to stop separating health care from dental care, and find sensible ways to make quality care affordable.”

According to a provided release,  :DentalPlans believes the following dental health issues will also make headlines in 2017:

Alternative/Voluntary benefits: out of pocket medical costs are rising, making health discount plans increasingly popular. Benefits include savings on dental care, telemedicine, vision, hearing, medical bill negotiation, etc. Businesses will offer plans to employees as a cost-effective way to enhance benefits packages.

Regenerating teeth: Research into regenerating tooth enamel and dental pulp – even growing healthy new teeth and bone –  offers promising possibilities for enhancing dental health and restoring fully-functional natural teeth. Low-power lasers are being tested to stimulate renewed dentin cell growth.

Innovative cosmetic treatments: Expect dentist-prescribed tooth whitening pens that deliver gleaming smiles, lasers to neaten “gummy” grins 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 does not typically cover cosmetic treatments like implants or whitening. People will look to dental savings plans, medical tourism, health care savings accounts, and in-house dental practice payment plans as alternative ways to fill the cost gaps in programs like Medicare and traditional insurance.

Hygienists in the spotlight: Allowing dental hygienists to perform routine procedures, like filling cavities, would enable dentists to focus on providing advanced treatments and may make basic preventive care more affordable.

“It’s bound to be an interesting year in dental care,” said Chase.

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