There is a potential association between treated gum disease and reduced medical costs for patients with diabetes, according to a study conducted by CIGNA.
The findings of the three-year claims study were presented during a recent meeting of the International Association for Dental Research in San Diego.
The study was presented by Dr. Clay Hedlund, a CIGNA dental director; Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat, dean emeritus and professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; Dr. Robert Genco, a SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo Schools of Dental Medicine; and Dr Nipul Tanna, a clinical assistant professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.
Drs. Jeffcoat and Genco are members of the CIGNA Dental Clinical Advisory Panel. IADR is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing research and increasing knowledge to improve oral health worldwide.
Hedlund said the study corroborates the results of CIGNA’s prior research, presented at the IADR meeting in 2009, in support of a possible association between the treatment of gum disease and lower medical costs in the treatment of diabetes.
In the current study, patients who were treated for gum disease in the first year of the study and then received regular maintenance care thereafter had lower medical costs than those patients who had previously been treated for gum disease but did not receive regular maintenance care.