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Dental health may be experiencing a slump along with the economy
Updated: 7/6/2011 11:00:00 PM

Preventive dental exams and treatment may be ignored when money is tight Many dentists recommend preventive exams and treatments to help their patients maintain good dental health.

The American Dental Association suggests that people should visit the dentist at least two times annually for this reason.

However, patients who are under financial strain may neglect to follow these recommendations, which can potentially lead to costly oral problems.

In a recent article published by the Palm Beach Post, several dentists explained that the recession significantly lowered the number of patients who keep up with their biannual checkups and preventive treatments.

One expert said a patient who needed a simple cavity filling that would have cost under $200 required a $3,000 root canal after she left the problem untreated due to lack of insurance.

"We have seen a radical, significant shift in dentistry away from preventative intervention and towards emergency problem repair. Pain or problems - a tooth that has already fractured, acute dental or gum abscess - are often the driving factor," said Dr. Mauricio Gutierrez, quoted by the news source.

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