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Americans Recognize Oral Health Risks

by adminjay

VideaHealth announced the results of new research which found more than 90 percent (94%) of consumers surveyed agree that untreated oral issues, such as cavities and unhealthy gums, directly impact overall physical health and risk of disease, suggesting that public health campaigns designed to raise awareness of the long-term impact of oral disease on overall health are working.

However, there is a gaping disconnect between awareness and action. Despite recent and repeated warnings from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association and many others, a majority of Americans (81%) surveyed have questioned or hesitated to commit to a treatment their dentist suggested. In fact, nearly one-third (31%) won’t get dental treatment altogether until the pain is too great to manage or just ignore problems completely.

While it is hard to imagine someone refusing to treat conditions ranging from a broken ankle to heart disease, that is exactly what Americans are doing when it comes to their oral health. The top reasons given for questioning or hesitating to commit to a suggested treatment include cost (53%), fear or pain (28%), and because the problem does not seem too painful or problematic (18%).

Accepting earlier dental treatment can save significant money and time, and stave off more complicated and invasive treatments and long-term health issues.

Dental AI Moves Consumers Toward Action

An earlier study demonstrated that the majority of consumers are uncomfortable with AI in healthcare. However, the data suggests a much greater interest in and comfort with AI in dentistry. Nearly half of those polled are open to the use of dental AI if it could either help catch issues early or if it could reduce the need for more invasive treatment in the future.

When informed that AI could see things on a dental X-ray that a dentist could not detect with the naked eye, six out of 10 (59%) said they would be more likely to take their dentist’s recommendation with the percentage even higher for Baby Boomers at nearly seven out of 10 (65%). Consistency across geography, education level and gender shows widespread agreement among consumers.

Reasons for accepting AI-powered dental diagnosis confirmation include:

  • Knowing it would lead to less invasive treatment (44%);
    • Gen Z (34%), Millennials (46%), Gen X (40%), Baby Boomers (50%)
  • It saves money (37%);
    • Gen Z (41%), Millennials (42%), Gen X (32%), Baby Boomers (34%)
  • It may not falsely overdiagnose (32%); and
    • Gen Z (35%), Millennials (35%), Gen X (30%), Baby Boomers (29%)
  • It could help prevent systemic disease (31%)
    • Gen Z (30%), Millennials (36%), Gen X (31%), Baby Boomers (25%)

“AI in dentistry is a game-changer. The positive impact of dental AI on patient behavior can make a meaningful impact on health, which in turn can drive down costs,” said Florian Hillen, CEO, VideaHealth.

Supplemental Data

In some cases, when a small cavity is detected in an early stage, it may only require a $20 to $50 fluoride treatment. In contrast, delaying treatment could create a larger cavity and require a more invasive dental treatment like filling, crown or root canal which could cost anywhere from $200 to nearly $2,000.

Survey Methodology

This consumer survey was conducted online by Directions Research, independently recognized as one of the nation’s leading business decision insight firms. The survey was fielded from October 12-16, 2023 among a demographically balanced nationally representative sample of 1,047 U.S. adults 18 years of age and older.

About VideaHealth

VideaHealth brings AI to the dental chair, helping dental clinicians provide better care, build patient relationships and drive financial performance. Providers from the largest dental chains in the country to smaller independent practices use VideaHealth to identify and treat the most important dental conditions, helping thousands of dentists analyze millions of patients each year. Backed by leading venture capital firms Spark Capital, Zetta Venture Partners, and Pillar VC, VideaHealth is headquartered in Boston.

For more information, visit https://www.videa.ai.

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Rafael Juárez from Pixabay.

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