Delta Dental released new research on oral health care during the COVID-19 pandemic that shows a “significant decrease in the provision of preventive oral health care services when compared to pre-pandemic levels.”
These results are concerning across all age groups and could result in long-term negative effects on oral health. For example, the study found more night guards are being delivered to adult patients, potentially due to the rise in stress and teeth grinding.
During the pandemic, many lost employer dental benefits, some were hesitant to attend dental appointments due to illness exposure, and there have been staff shortages across the industry. All of these reasons and more could have contributed to the decrease in preventive oral health services.