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Have you or a member of your family recently skipped a visit to the dentist owing to the rapidly rising cost of dental care? Well, many Americans have and statistics show that the numbers are on the increase. While the public and law makers have been focused on the millions of Americans without health insurance and rising medical costs, scant attention has been paid to what has been happening to the availability and cost of dental care.
For every adult who lacks health insurance, an estimated three are without dental insurance. In fact, according to the National Association of Dental Plans, just slightly more than half of the American population had access to dental insurance in 2007.
Why such few numbers?
One of the main reasons why so many of us opt out of having dental insurance, even in instances where our employers pay part of the premiums, is the relatively skimpy coverage afforded to anything other than routine cleanings and checkups. For instance, a typical dental plan entails 50% co-pay for high-ticket items like bridges and crowns and complicated procedures. Moreover, most of these plans contain a ‘missing tooth clause’ meaning that they are unlikely to replace a tooth that was missing at the time that you were enrolling for the plan. The downside to this is that most dental plans limit coverage to just $1,500 a year which is hardly more than a down payment on your child’s $6,000 braces.
The end result: Many people who cannot afford dental insurance end up postponing visits to the dentists due to prohibitive costs. This, inevitably, puts their health in jeopardy because of the close connection between overall health and oral health.
Current Trends in Dental Health
In recent years, dental care costs have been increasing at a faster rate than overall medical care costs. Between 2008 and 2012, statistics from the Bureau of Labor indicate that in the health care sector, only the prices of adult day care services, nursing home care, and hospital services rose at higher annual inflation rates than dental care. As a result of these steep increases, it is little surprise that dentists now rake in more money on average than many physicians.
According to the American Dental Association, the average net incomes for general dentists in private practice was $192,680 in 2009, with the average for specialists, including dental surgeons and orthodontists being $305,820. In contrast, the average income for family practice physicians and pediatricians in 2012 was $175,000 and $173,000 respectively.
Americans now fully understand how prohibitive dental care has become, which partly explains why less than 36% of all adults in the U.S. are expected to visit a dentist this year and why one in four non-elderly Americans live with untreated tooth decay. Another reason why most of us forego much-needed dental care is the apparent lack of transparency in pricing. BC Soft Touch Dental postulates that besides not being able to afford it, the most cited reason people give for avoiding the dentist is fear of not knowing the costs. As with medical care, finding out well beforehand how much you will have to pay from your own pocket for dental work is next to impossible.
These high out-of-pocket expenditures and lack of transparency have led our dentists at BC Soft Touch Dental to try and help people establish how much dentists in their communities charge for everything from root canals and other complicated procedures to routine checkups and use their group buying power to negotiate for more affordable prices. However, more still needs to be done to improve access to dental care, especially in poor and rural areas of cities where dentists do not practice.
Thank you to Sarah Behmanesh for the great guest post. For more information please check out her website.
Massage is considered as one of the oldest health care alternatives that has been practiced then and now. It is a form of bodywork that is widely known to help relax the muscles in our body and also promote improved circulation. It is also known to help increase the oxygen capacity of the blood after massage treatment is done.
If you visit your spa centers, you will discover that there are different types of massage being offered. To give you an overview of some of the different types of massage therapy, here are the famous types of massage therapy practices that is widely used particularly in the United States and even in the different regions in the world:
Aromatherapy Massage this type of massage uses natural oils from extracted herbs, flowers and fruits that promotes body and mind relaxation. The oil being applied to your body helps calm your senses giving you a relaxing feeling.
Deep Tissue Massage is type of massage therapy that concentrates on the deep layers of muscle by utilizing slower, harder strokes in releasing chronic muscle tension.
Hot Stone Massage from the name alone, you will determine that this massage uses hot stones to massage your body. The flat heated stones will help warm your body and loosen the tight muscle tissues. This type of massage is ideal for people who are experiencing insomnia, back pain, or stress.
Shiatsu this is a Japanese type of massage therapy which is also know as finger pressure massage. This type of massage is done by pressing and holding certain pressure points for a few seconds to improve the circulation of chi in the human body. Shiatsu is very good for people who are experiencing back pain, stress, head-aches, or even for relaxation.
Swedish Massage this is a very relaxing form of massage therapy that is widely used in the United States. It is done by using long, gentle kneading strokes to improve blood circulation. It can also help release stress in the body.
Thai Massage a type of massage that was developed in Thailand. The Thai massage is a combination of yoga stretching, meditation, acupressure, exercise movement and reflexology.
Massage does not only limit into giving you relaxation, it is also good at giving your more health benefits, like treatment for:
- Anxiety and depression
- Digestive disorders
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Soft tissue strains
- Soft tissue injuries
- Sports injuries
- Stress-related insomnia
- Temporomandibular joint pain
Getting yourself in a massage treatment is very beneficial to you especially if you are dealing with so many stress in life. If you want to feel better after a tiring work at the office or at home, treating yourself with massage treatment can deeply enhance your overall health and your work-ability. So it is very vital that you also consider this alternative treatment because usually, these treatments are safe for most people. Just make sure that you visit a certified massage therapist to avoid certain problems. It would also be advisable that you first check with your physician if this is a good addition to your healthy lifestyle.