Although it’s often considered an elderly condition, the debilitating, degenerative disease of arthritis can and does affect younger people.
The Effect Arthritis Has on a Life
Some forms of arthritis are merely aggravating and cause little more than mild irritation, while others can inhibit a person from performing daily tasks. If your daily tasks involve practicing dentistry, having a measure of fear associated with developing such a condition is understandable, especially if it impacts your hands.
However, although it is disconcerting, there is no need for panic. Take the following points into consideration if you have been diagnosed with arthritis or suspect you might have the condition to seek to protect your career and future:
Learn What Type of Arthritis You Have
If you are a dentist with arthritis, you may already know there are many varieties of the disease. Some are more common than others. It’s important to know what type of arthritis you are dealing with, though, to determine what your future may look like as they do not all behave the same way and vary in severity. Read on for the three of the most common types of arthritis:
Osteoarthritis is also called degenerative arthritis. It is the most commonly diagnosed type of arthritis and the one you likely think of when hearing the word arthritis. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage within your joints breaks down.
This exposed joint now rubs against other bones. This specific type of degenerative condition is characterized by a gradual decrease in ability to move the joints, pain free.
The joints most commonly affected with osteoarthritis are the shoulders, fingers, wrists and elbows.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. In essence, with this disease, your own body attacks your healthy joints. This results in a gradual increase of discomfort within the joints, which eventually means your joints won’t function as they should.
Some other symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis include tingling warmth or numbness in your limbs.
Juvenile arthritis occurs early on in life, often when a person is younger than 16 years-of-age. Juvenile arthritis is actually a collection of autoimmune disorders that together change growth patterns, erode bone and tighten soft tissue.
If you were diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, it’s a good idea to consider your future as a dentist, while you continue to live and try to work with this painful condition.
Understanding the type of arthritis you have is important, as it will help you determine what your future as a dentist could look like with such a condition. If you suspect you might have arthritis, visiting a medical doctor for an official diagnosis and appropriate treatment may be wise.
Seek to Protect Your Future Appropriately
If you know you have arthritis, you also know that your career as a practicing dentist could be cut shorter than you want it to or will become more complicated than it normally would be.
Therefore, if you know arthritis is a factor in your life, it’s smart to plan for your future some 10, 20 or even 30 years ahead of schedule.
To do so, if you own a dental practice, you might consider purchasing business loan protection insurance or look into buy/sell agreement options so that you are able to exit your practice with minimal risk and red tape.
However, if you have already been diagnosed with arthritis, an insurance company may decline coverage or exclude coverage related to your condition. Therefore, you should review appropriate coverage with a licensed insurance professional and determine what coverage you can obtain.
To learn more about protecting your future income, read our comprehensive guide concerning disability income insurance today.
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This content is intended for general informational purposes and should not be construed as advice. The terms and definitions are not binding. Please consult with a licensed insurance professional and review your insurance policy. Coverage options and availability may vary. Pre-existing conditions may result in an exclusion or declination of coverage.
Treloar & Heisel, Inc. and its divisions do not offer medical advice. Please consult with a medical professional concerning these topics.