MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Dental health is taking a back seat during the pandemic, causing oral hygiene and dental issues to grow for patients still not comfortable enough to go to the dentist.
For Dental Health Associates of Madison, 40% of patients that made regular dentist appointments did not return in 2020. The drop in dental appointments started at the beginning of the pandemic when a survey from the American Dental Association found that 95% of dentists closed or only saw emergencies.
Despite dentists reopening, many professionals like Dr. Gregory Sobczak did not see patients return.
“Plenty of patients did not feel comfortable coming in for a dentist’s appointment,” said Dr. Sobczak.
The absence of trips to the dentist’s chair allowed dental problems to build into increased cavities, cracks and gum disease.
And after a year of being away, the idea of coming back is daunting for people.
“For some people, it has been so long since they came in last that they are embarrassed or think their results will be really bad,” said Dr. Sobczak. “And lots of times, it isn’t even as bad as they thought it would be; for us, our biggest goal is people’s oral health, not making people feel bad.”
Dr. Sobczak added that they have found zero cases of COVID-19 transmission between a hygienist and patient and are dressed in full PPE gear, which is routinely changed from patient to patient.
The best way to stay on top of dental health is to go in for a cleaning and to address any dental problems right away. Just like getting back in the habit of routine dental visits, proper dental habits at home are important to reestablish.
Cutting down on the snacking, making sure to brush and floss every day all go a long way in extending the impact of a dental cleaning.
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