For many people, routine dental care was unavailable during the pandemic, as many dental offices were forced to close. And while most practices today are up and running, clearing patient backlogs has been complicated by staff shortages and the extra time needed for enhanced cleaning between appointments.
Then there’s the, shall we call it, “lapsing behavior” on the side of patients. In the wake of the pandemic, Americans have increased their intake of tobacco and alcohol and other sugary drinks — often at the expense of their oral health — said Daphne Wilson, hygiene director for Hudec Dental, a regional practice in the Greater Cleveland area.
“We are seeing an alarming increase in both cavities and periodontal disease during routine care appointments,” Wilson said.
A fraction of that, she confirmed, can be attributed to delays in dental care. Along with appointment backlogs that often limited access to routine checkups, COVID