Dental Indicators Predict Economic Downturn
Can dental appointments give a clue to the health of the economy? According to an article in Business Weekly they may. Follow-up appointments kept, hygiene appointments, planned treatments vs actual treatment and accounts receivable all can help gauge consumer confidence and predict the direction of the economy. So where are we going? The numbers do not look good.
Patients are not coming back for their regular follow-up as regularly. According to the article, this is an indicator of a lack of consumer confidence and the numbers have fallen to match the down years of 2007-2009. The difference between what patients schedule to do at their regular hygiene appointments and what is actually being done is showing a lot of fluctuation. This is not the case during the most recent economic recovery. There is also a growing gap between what doctors are treatment planning and what patients are getting done. Couple this with the growing accounts receivable and there are indicators that people are not feeling confident and spending money on their dental health.
It is very easy to put off taking care of our teeth and dental care is often the first thing we cut out during financially uncertain times. However, regular dental care is critically important to your health and wellbeing. Gum disease has been linked to issues such as heart disease and can worsen the symptoms diabetes. Plus, the longer dental work is put off the more expensive it becomes. The difference between a crown and a filling can be over a thousand dollars. If you are having financial problems talk to your dentist and see if they have payment plans or other financing options. Your health is worth the investment.
Check out the entire article with graphs here.