people waiting in line to get into a buildingWhether or not you think the pandemic is over in the US, it’s time for people to pivot back to normality. This includes a lot of activities we used to take for granted, such as going to the grocery store and, of course, making regular dental appointments.

During the pandemic, nearly half of Americans put off dental appointments. Most of these people (75%) postponed routine dental checkups, but 12% postponed care for troublesome issues, and 10% put off a planned dental procedure (such as cosmetic dentistry).

At the office of Dr. James B. Polley in Las Vegas, we have already welcomed back many patients who postponed care, as well as many new patients. We would be happy to welcome you to our office.

Evidence Shows People Are Returning

Although many people postponed dental care, there is good evidence that people are picking up postponed appointments in increasing numbers. According to data from appointment software, dental appointments ticked up significantly from August 2021 to August 2022, almost entirely across the board.

The biggest increase seems to be related to increased stress. The largest increase in appointments was for cracked tooth repair, which increased by 43% over the past year. At our Las Vegas office, we offer convenient repair for cracked teeth, thanks to our CEREC crowns one-day option.

Appointments related to delayed care have also been increasing. Appointments for dental pain increased by 32%, and appointments for gum disease increased by 22%. Not surprisingly, root canal appointments also increased by 20%.

People are also catching up on some of their postponed cosmetic dentistry treatments. Orthodontic appointments increased 32% in the last year.

Unfortunately, some of the slowest increases were those that dropped off the most. Dental checkup appointments only increased by 10% year-on-year, while new patient exams increased by 18%. This goes along with our sense that there are still people in Las Vegas who continue to postpone dental appointments.

5 Reasons You Should Stop Postponing Appointments

It’s not just our sense that people in Las Vegas are avoiding dental appointments: a recent survey showed that about 40% of people were putting off going to the dentist. The top reasons for postponing care were high out-of-pocket costs and anxiety about dental pain.

However, there are good reasons why you shouldn’t keep putting off dental care.

1. Dental Care Can Improve Your Health

We’ve talked before about how dental care is a powerful tool for improving your overall health. Protecting your oral health helps protect you from risks like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, and more. This is largely because of gum disease bacteria. The bacteria can travel to your heart and either infect your heart or contribute to the buildup of arterial plaque that causes heart disease and can lead to stroke or heart failure. Gum disease also produces toxins that impact your body.

If you aren’t taking care of your oral health, you risk your overall health.

2. Dental Care Can Save You Time and Money

While concerns about the cost of care keep people away from the dentist more than anything else, the truth is that getting regular dental care is actually a great investment. It will likely save you money in the long run.

First, there’s the increased cost of dental procedures if you postpone care. We mentioned dental crowns and root canal therapy above. Both of these treatments are more expensive than a simple filling. Regular dental care lets your Las Vegas dentist detect problems that need treatment when they’re small and easy to remedy. This also saves you time: it’s faster to get a filling–or not need any additional treatment–than to sit through root canal therapy.

You won’t just save on dental care, either. Studies show that people with diabetes can save nearly $6000 if they get their gum disease treated. Other studies show annual savings for people at risk of stroke. They might save as much as $5500 a year by treating gum disease.

These savings are in part because treating gum disease can reduce your risk of hospitalization. You might reduce your risk of hospitalization by up to 40% by treating gum disease.

3. Financing Can Help with Costs

We understand that despite the overall savings, the initial cost of dental care might be a barrier to getting the dental care you want and need. That’s why we offer dental financing to help you address the initial cost of treatment.

Yes, financing costs, but there are many low-cost options, including zero-interest plans. This helps ensure that the cost of financing is much less than the savings you will enjoy from getting dental treatment now rather than waiting.

4. We Can Help You Overcome Anxiety

Dental anxiety has always kept people away from the dentist. Fortunately, Las Vegas dentist Dr. James B. Polley is a gentle, compassionate dentist who knows how to help people with dental anxiety. If even his gentle approach to dentistry isn’t enough to overcome your fears, we offer sedation dentistry to help you get and stay relaxed during your dental appointment.

5. Be Happy and Confident in Your Smile

Let’s not forget that one of your smile’s important functions is to help you make the best possible first impressions. When people meet you for the first time, it’s your smile that they’ll remember most.

You want to be confident in showing off your smile in every situation. Whether you’re meeting a client or going on a first date, you want to feel that you don’t have to hide your teeth when smiling, talking, eating, or drinking. You want the freedom to confidently be yourself.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Las Vegas

If you’re overdue for dental care in Las Vegas, let Dr. James B. Polley help. If you’re looking for a dental office in the north Las Vegas area, please call (702) 873-0324 or use our online form to request an appointment at our office in Las Vegas, near the Summerlin Library.