RALEIGH, N.C. — If you put off your dentist appointment during the pandemic, you’re not alone. Nearly 48% of adults in the U.S. reported delaying dental care due to COVID-19, according to research from SAGE Journals.
For others who lost their jobs, they often lost their dental insurance as well.
What You Need To Know
- Nearly half of U.S. adults have delayed dental care due to the pandemic
- 114 million people around the globe lost their jobs, often losing their dental insurance
- Be sure to ask your dentist for in-house payment options, look for coupons and follow Dr. Farrell’s advice below
These things shouldn’t stop you from scheduling your appointment. Many dentist offices, including Farrell Family Dentistry in Raleigh, created in-house payment options for people to help them pay for care.
Dr. Andrew Farrell said, "If you can’t pay for everything immediately, you should be willing to ask and they should be willing to offer payment plans. It helps you out, helps them out, you get the work taken care of and you know, everyone is better off in the long run."
Farrell recommends patients also ask their dentist to lay out all treatment options, as well as the urgency for when things need to be taken care of. Some dental fixes can be put off longer than others.
"Make sure that the dentist offers you a number of different options, inexpensive ones and expensive ones," Farrell said. "Then he can work with you from there on payment plans."
He also says most people are paying too much for the basics, specifically toothpaste. In fact, he sees more people coming in with sensitivity issues linked to whitening and charcoal toothpaste.
"Any kind of toothpaste will work, as long as it’s got fluoride. You don’t have to pay $7-10 dollars for toothpaste," Farrell said.
Farrell also pointed out that parents should be brushing their kids’ teeth until they’re old enough to apply sunscreen on their own. While parents won’t see the damage right away, like they would with a sunburn, the longterm damage from bad brushing can cost a lot in the long run.
"I really can’t think of any better way to spend your money, as far as being inexpensive on the front end, to prevent very expensive things on the back end," Farrell said. "Brush, floss, be aware of what you’re eating and when you’re eating it and brush your teeth. That’s really important."