Why are we waiting to diagnosis?

In a study supported by CIGNA Dental Health, Inc, and reported at the March 2011 IADR General Session in San Diego, Dr. Tanna of the Department of Periodontology at University of Pennsylvania, reported that diabetics with periodontal disease and who received periodontal therapy, experienced significantly lower medical costs.

The mean savings amounted to $2,483.51 and was realized per patient in a single year, independent of the patient’s age. The longitudinal study looked at 3,449 patients over a three year period, which were enrolled in CIGNA’s medical and dental plans, aged 18-62. The commonality of the databases allowed for cross-referencing of the medical and dental care received as well as the costs of treatment.

All patients had periodontal disease at the baseline of the study. The treatment group received treatment during the first year and were maintained thereafter, whereas the control group had received periodontal disease treatment prior to the beginning of the study but did not receive regular maintenance during the study.

The mean one-year cost for medical care in diabetics was $10,672.09 and the cost for the periodontal treatment group was $8,189.58. The study reports that costs savings for males were higher than for women. The overall study size with 3,449 participants lends credibility to the conclusions.


Christine Taxin
36 Abington Avenue
Ardsley New York 10502
United States of America