SEOUL, Nov. 17 (Korea Bizwire) – A study said the number of periodontal disease patients has increased by a large margin since dental scaling has been included in items paid by the national health insurance plan. According to the National Health Insurance Service, based on insurance data related to gum inflammation and periodontal disease between 2009 and 2013, the number of patients treated with the conditions as of 2013 was 10.83 million (or 21.7% of total health insurance beneficiaries), with the total healthcare cost of 746.9 billion won.
The number of patients has increased steadily from 7.42 million in 2009 to 10.83 million in 2013, with an annual growth rate of 9.9 percent. The treatment cost has risen from 402.0 billion won in 2009 to 746.9 billion won in 2013 at an annual rate of 16.7 percent. This is largely because of the decision in July last year to include scaling (once a year for adults older than 20 years of age) as part of insurance coverage.
According to the national health insurance authority, this is because as more people visit dentist’s office for regular cleaning, more cases of periodontal disease are found and treated. The number of periodontal patients by age group was 33,507 in their 60s and 31,463 in their 50s. It was then followed by those in their 70s (25,867) and 40s (25,260).
By Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)