Health problems rise as dental patients in SD postpone care during pandemic

Health problems rise as dental patients in SD postpone care during pandemic

Many South Dakotans have postponed necessary dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing the risk of gum disease, tooth and bone loss, or other serious health issues related to poor dental care, which can include heart attacks and diabetes.

Patients with acute dental problems and those undergoing routine dental care have stayed away from dental offices over fears they may be susceptible to COVID-19 during office visits.

Members of the public dental industry, who have suffered a heavy blow from the lack of appointments, say it may take a full year for them to overcome the backlog of delayed care resulting from COVID-19. Patients may face long wait times for appointments once the pandemic has subsided.

“The ‘COVID hangover’ is going to last for a while,” said Paul Knecht, director of the South Dakota Dental Association. “We find ourselves …

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