The healthcare community has long understood the importance of oral health in relationship to systemic diseases and biological changes. We now know that severe gum disease (periodontitis) plays hand in hand with many conditions, putting patients at higher risks and making them harder to treat.
Recently, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has updated their dental insurance plans to better reflect current understandings on periodontitis and systemic health. As of now, their diabetic and pregnant patients qualify for three cleanings a year, as opposed to the normal two. To be eligible for the extra covered yearly cleaning, you must be actively enrolled in one of their diabetes or maternal healthcare management programs. Their system will then automatically update your profile so that you qualify for the extra cleaning.
In the case of diabetes, research suggests that gum disease can make blood glucose levels harder to manage. Likewise, the delayed healing process brought on by diabetes allows periodontal disease to progress rapidly. For pregnancy, periodontal disease has been associated with low birthweight babies and premature delivery. In both instances, an extra preventative appointment could have a big outcome on your quality of life.
As a reminder, this only applies to cleanings covered by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. If you subscribe to another insurance company or do not qualify for this benefit, you can still utilize a third cleaning out-of-pocket. While our office is highlighting this change to Anthem's policies, we do not endorse one insurance plan over any others. If you would like to know more about dental insurance or your specific plan, please give our office a call. We have years of experience with a number of insurance providers and can assuredly help you!