Since the beginning of the year, COVID-19 has resulted in a variety of restrictions and social distancing protocols. These restrictions have made it difficult to do normal things like visit the dentist.
According to the Association of Dental Groups, 49% of households across the UK have at least one adult who has been unable to or has decided not to go to the dentist. This totals to about 13 million adults missing a dentist visit!
Dentists are calling for all to ensure that they pay a visit to the dentist, as missing your regular appointments or check-ups could result in serious dental issues.
The Impact Of Covid-19 On Dental Services
After the lockdown forced the closure of dental surgeries across the UK in March, many practices suffered. Many practitioners had no income and some still had fixed costs and leases to continue paying. Self-employed and private practice dentists are now facing financial collapse due to a lack of governmental support.
Dentists have been allowed to reopen since June, but this has only weathered the storm slightly. As part of ongoing COVID-19 precautions, some dentists must wait a period of 60 minutes between patients. For this reason, they see much fewer patients in a day than they used to.
Further, many people are still unprepared to visit public offices. So, fewer patients are willing to come for appointments.
The Chair of the Association of Dental Groups (ADG) has called on the Government to urgently support clinicians for fear of the disastrous impact that a lack of support may have on the livelihoods of all who own and work in private practices.
Don’t Put Off Your Dental Check-Ups
Dentists, however, are more concerned about the dental health of the population. Dentists believe that the number of people purposefully missing dentist appointments is extremely worrying. It suggests that there is a multitude of oral health issues being ignored because of the lockdown. This means that there will be much to deal with once people begin making their regular visits again.
Here are some of the main issues dental professionals are concerned about:
Increase In Mouth Cancer
Routine check-ups are imperative to ensure early detection of mouth cancer. When patients visit a dentist and present with warning signs such as suspicious lesions, dentists are able to screen and test for cancer immediately.
Since many are avoiding their check-ups, early warning signs cannot be found, and many could be at risk and unaware of it.
So, the rate of mouth cancer could severely increase if patients do not attend their routine check-ups.
Sugary ‘Lockdown Diets’ Leave Children Vulnerable
Children may be in the most danger when it comes to poor dental health caused by the lockdown. Similar to adults, most children have missed their routine dentist appointments due to restrictions on dental services and lack of available appointments.
On top of this, being cooped up at home has led to an increased likelihood of sugary diets. More time on their hands results in more snacking (which means more sugary foods and drinks). Because children have softer enamel, this could lead to tooth decay.
So, dentists fear that they may have extreme volumes of tooth decay to deal with when routine appointments begin again.
Backlogs In Dental Practices
When things start going back to normal in a tangible way, there is likely to be a backlog of care needing to be done. Many people will seek dental appointments, and many will have serious issues to be taken care of. This means that most dentists will have a full schedule with little to no available appointments.
Couple this with the fact that some dentists who own or work in private practices may not have financially made it through lockdown and one begins to see that it may be tough to secure an appointment to take care of urgent dental health needs.
If you’re in Hampshire, UK, and want to ensure that the backlog doesn’t affect you, it’s best to book your appointment sooner rather than later.
Visit A Dentist ASAP
Everybody knows how badly a sore tooth can affect you. The last thing you’d want is more serious dental health issues to worry about. To avoid the risks, visit a dentist as soon as you can. You’ll be happy you did it!