The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on various aspects of healthcare, including dental care. One significant consequence of patients missing dental appointments during this time has been the increased prevalence of dental cavities and other dental problems. According to a survey conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA), approximately 95% of dental practices reported a reduction in patient visits during the pandemic, with many patients postponing or canceling their appointments.
- The delay in regular dental check-ups and treatments has resulted in a rise in dental cavities. Without timely professional cleanings and examinations, the risk of cavities increases, as plaque and tartar build-up can lead to tooth decay. Additionally, untreated cavities can progress and result in more severe dental issues, such as tooth infections or abscesses.
- Several studies support the notion that missed dental appointments during the pandemic have contributed to the escalation of dental problems. A study published in the Journal of Dental Research in 2021 demonstrated that there was a significant increase in untreated caries (cavities) during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to previous years. Similarly, research published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology in 2020 found that the number of patients presenting with gum disease rose considerably during the pandemic.
- It is crucial for individuals to prioritize their oral health and resume regular dental care to mitigate the risk of dental problems. Dental practices have implemented comprehensive safety measures, such as enhanced infection control protocols, to ensure patient safety during appointments. Patients can also maintain good oral hygiene at home by brushing their teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash.
In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a notable increase in dental cavities and other dental problems due to patients missing their dental appointments. To prevent further oral health complications, it is essential for individuals to prioritize dental care and reschedule their missed appointments.
Dr. Michael Gillespie has practiced dentistry in Waynesville, NC for 29 years. He and his award-winning team have the experience and skills need to treat your dental needs.