Many South Dakotans postponed necessary dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing the risk of gum disease, tooth and bone loss, or other serious health problems 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 due to concerns that they may be susceptible to COVID-19 during office visits.
Members of the state dental industry, who have suffered a financial blow from lack of appointments, say it may take a full year to get over the delay in resulting care from COVID-19. Patients may face long waiting times for appointments once the pandemic goes away.
“The ‘COVID hangover’ will go on for a while,” said Paul Knecht, director of the South Dakota Dental Association. “We are finding ourselves …