COLORADO SPRINGS — As inflation continues to impact the price of pretty much everything, we're reminding you to not put off regular or needed dental care.
Colorado Springs dentist Dr. Fred Guerra regularly tells me the health of our teeth and gums is directly connected to the overall health of our bodies.
Dr. Guerra says, “Over the last few years immune system has been decreased. We see issues of rampant periodontal disease contributing to other issues. The way that happens is the inflammatory products in the mouth enter the bloodstream and now they become systemic meaning they go to every other organ that is in our body.”
Putting off dental care is a problem being seen across the country. Dentists like Dr Bryanne Chandler with Westchester Family Dental in Connecticut say some people are still not back into a healthy oral hygiene routine after the pandemic.
Dr. Chandler says, "During the beginning of the pandemic, nobody was getting routine dental care."
It's all leading to a build-up of much-needed care that Dr. Chandler says, isn't necessarily covered by insurance. "A lot of the increase in care is because patients haven't been to the dentist in a couple of years and now that they're coming and the procedures are larger, unfortunately their insurance is not matching that even though they haven't used it for two years."
Another implication of the pandemic, says Dr. Chandler is a worker shortage at dental practices. Think about it, lots of hygienists are women and many left the field to take care of families when COVID-19 hit. "Many of them have not yet returned to the profession so there's a workforce shortage which has in fact driven the employment wages and cost up.”
Also, adding to the overhead of a dental practice, can be the increased price of PPE and lab fees. Dr. Chandler explains, "Our supplies are three to four times what they were pre-pandemic and often times they're back ordered as well."
While Dr. Chandler says she isn't raising prices for her patients, she knows increased premiums are weighing down their wallets. Her mission is to help people realize the importance of their oral health and how it plays into your overall health.
As we have reported, poor dental health can be linked to things like diabetes, cardio vascular disease, even Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Chandler says, "It's essential to keep the bacterial count, the disease level low in your mouth.”
Dr. Guerra adds, “We know over the past 20 years, the U.S. Surgeon General has published studies on the links between periodontal or gum disease and the oral systemic connection.”
If you have any questions about your dental care, what you might be able to put off and what you shouldn't delay have that conversation with a trusted dentist.
Guerra Dental is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family