Oral health may be necessary now more than ever in post-pandemic times. What were small issues previously, have been compounded by the pandemic.
Post-Pandemic Dental Care
Mask wearing, time since last preventive service and perceived financial constraints have patients in more dire situations than possibly ever before.
However, an investment in your oral health may be the best investment you ever make.
Unlike investing in a vehicle several times in a lifetime, which depreciates immediately upon leaving the lot, your dentition – natural or implant replacements and prostheses, does not depreciate.
It will improve your life esthetically, functionally, phonetically and provide comfort for the rest of your life, if maintained the way we maintain our vehicles.
Oral Health Problems Due to the Pandemic
Dentists are seeing patients who, due to lack of access and mask wearing, are inflamed, in pain and are suffering from multiple chronic health issues that have been compounded over the last couple of years.
Length of time since consistent care has led to advanced dental diseases such as tooth removal and implantation, instead of proactive, protective measures such as crowns.
Masks have led to open mouth breathing; contributing to periodontal diseases and discomfort of the masticatory muscles and the TM joints. Poor breathing in general has become a pandemic in our world – and this was already the case pre-pandemic (I encourage you to read the book Breath by James Nestor).
Tissues break down in the absence of oxygen, throughout the body as well as in the mouth. It is not only those who are suffering from symptoms of ‘Long Covid’ who aren’t breathing well, it is all of us who have learned to breathe through our mouths instead of our noses – whether from infancy, from allergens and illness, or from mask wearing.
Cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illness, sleep disorders and psychiatric disorders are at an all time high – and some of this your dentist can help with.
Post-Pandemic Dental Advances
Despite these health crises, the pandemic has also positively advanced treatments in the aforementioned areas of dentistry, such as variety and number of sleep apnea and snoring appliances available (in conjunction with or in place of a CPAP).
Now more than ever, patients are also becoming educated on the benefits of a tongue release and myo functional therapy (which has also become a sought after new career path).
More dentists are receiving advanced training in orofacial pain and using injectables (such as Botox) to address acute pain caused by mouth breathing [under masks], as well as to decrease the force with which one can clench her teeth when under duress or on medications for anxiety or mood disorders.
3D imaging systems have made implant planning more straightforward than ever, and have aided in computer assisted designing and computer assisted milling (CAD CAM) of prostheses that look and feel like a natural dentition.
The advances in dentistry are numerous and limitless! We have been, and will continue to be, ready to take this pandemic on – and to do what is best to get our patients healthy, comfortable and confident again!
Contact the team at Lawson Family Dentistry in Urbandale, IA for all of your post-pandemic dental needs. Dr Jessica Lawson is known as Urbandale’s most caring and gentle dentist, and she will determine the best treatment plant for you, in order to reach your dental goals. Book your appointment today!