While it is a sensitive time, dental practices are very excited to get back to their patients. The practices are looking a little different, with increased measures to accommodate social distancing and adequate sanitation.
Now more than ever, the dental practices are ready to help those who are ready get back on track with their dental health. With a two-month hiatus in many areas, several routine appointments were cancelled, as well as treatment appointments were cancelled. Past government restrictions only allowed emergency visits, which put some patients behind in addressing their scheduled restorative treatments.
It is worthwhile to call your dental office today if you would like to get back onto the schedule. While some offices are very busy, some offices have several appointments, as the economic reopening phases have affected different areas in different ways.
It is important to get back on track as dental decay does not resolve over time, but only worsens. An appointment with the dental hygienist will allow him or her to see any areas that have worsened or need attention due to the stress and diet changes related to the COVID-19 quarantine.
There is certainly no doubt that the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak have been stressful, from mass layoffs to business closures and lack of access to routine items and services. Unfortunately, stress has negatives effects on the body, including dental health. With increased stress, dental issues can manifest. Some people will experience mouth sores, increased teeth grinding, dry mouth leading to decay, among other things. While people are getting back to the routines, scheduling their hair appointments and going to the gym, it is also important to ensure that any dental appointments are also scheduled to achieve an overall optimal health state.
There are many oral disease processes that happen, which if they are detected early, can be managed much more easily and at a much lower cost. For instance, the beginning stages of periodontal disease, if treated early, can be done with less invasive cleanings, at a reduced cost. However, if someone delays treating the early stages of periodontal disease, the symptoms could progress, resulting in the need for surgical intervention to manage the problem. This is much more costly and more invasive. If further delays occur, then the disease could further advance causing permanent tooth loss, which results in higher prices procedures to restore functioning, such as implants or crowns and bridges.
Another common issue that is best managed early on is teeth grinding. Also called bruxism, it is a condition in which a person grinds or clenches their teeth. It can unconsciously occur when awake or when sleeping. Bruxism can interrupt sleep and wear down teeth, which affects not only appearance, but overall dental functioning. Bruxism can also lead to further complications, such as TMJ, also known as temporomandibular joint syndrome. The symptoms of bruxism can include anxiety, depression, tension, headaches, jaw pain, sensitive teeth, and more.