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Rising COVID-19 vaccination rates causes surge in dental visits

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 7:19 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Are you struggling to schedule an appointment with your dentist? You are not alone.

The coronavirus pandemic has left dental practices and clinics with severe backlogs as many patients put off routine checkups. Now that vaccination rates are rising, more people are heading back to the dentist.

This is causing quite the rush of people who are in need of care, many of whom haven’t seen a dentist since before the start of the pandemic.

According to the Michigan Dental Association, 60% of offices are open as usual whereas 40% are still seeing limited patients.

Dr. Vincent Benivegna, dental surgeon and President-elect of the Michigan Dental Association says that backlogged scheduling shouldn’t deter patients from coming in for their checkups.

“The longer you wait, the worse things are going to get,” Benivegna said. “Teeth aren’t going to heal themselves, so you know, you put off getting your dental cleaning, you’ll build up tartar, you get gum disease, your teeth loosen up, your teeth fall out so bad things can happen if you put off your dental work.”

So what can you expect when returning to the dentist during a pandemic?

Benivegna said, “Some of our protocols have changed, we’ve made some changes in our offices like we’ve upgraded our H-Vac system to increase airflow and air quality. We’re all wearing masks level-3 masks or N93 masks after the pandemic.”

For those seeking care that are still on the fence about scheduling that appointment, Dr. Benivegna says the dentist’s office is safe and there’s no need to be nervous.

Benivegna said, “I would encourage people to come in and get their care as needed and call their dentist. Don’t put off their dental exams and their cleanings and their dental work that they had planned pre-Covid. Get it done.”

The Michigan Dental Association along with the American Dental Association update their Coronavirus protocols regularly on their websites.

For more information, visit THIS LINK.

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