Americans still hesitant to return to dentist
Virginia is an average US state – not too poor, but not overly rich either (except in areas adjacent to the capital's District of Columbia), with a similar proportion of residents representing different races and age groups to the national average. One might venture to say that this is America through a lens, albeit with a slight pointing to the more affluent part of the US population.
The survey, conducted by the Delta Dental service, reveals the current (2022 data) attitude of residents in this corner of the United States toward dental issues.
One in three Virginians is wondering whether to return to the dentist!
A statewide survey shows that 35% of Virginia adults are hesitant to return to the dentist. What's more, last year due to the pandemic, more than half of the state's residents postponed or abandoned dental visits altogether. This is despite encouragement (including from the survey organizer) to return to the dentist as soon as possible, and thus protect themselves from the potentially serious consequences of oral health neglect.
– We've been covering our smiles for the past year. Now that many of us are starting to take off our masks, it's the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves that we need to take care of them. Prevention is key to maintaining physical, mental and emotional well-being, and putting off routine visits does more harm than good. Dental offices are safer than ever and there's really no reason to skip appointments – said Dr. Brad Guyton, chief dental officer at Delta Dental of Virginia.
Will reason outweigh fears?
A survey conducted on May 26 and 27 showed that despite lingering concerns about COVID-19, nearly 73% of Virginians plan to go to the dentist two or more times in the next 12 months, and nearly 94% plan to visit the office at least once.
It has also been shown that those who have dental insurance are more likely to visit the dentist. As many as 79% intend to go to the dentist at least twice a year, compared to 57% for the uninsured. Moreover, as many as 17% of the uninsured do not plan to visit the office at all.
From a nationwide report by Delta Dental titled, "The benefits of oral health care. 2020 State of America's Oral Health Report shows that:
– on average, one in two Americans sees a link between oral health and conditions such as respiratory problems (57%), diabetes (52%), elevated blood pressure (51%), stroke (50%) or dementia (39%),
– the number of cavities in a child is 2 (in an earlier study – 1),
– 77% of parents are concerned that oral health problems will have a negative impact on their child's self-esteem,
– 51% of adults have been affected by oral health problems (e.g. troubles at work, additional medical expenses incurred, sleep problems),
– 26% of Americans did not go in 2020. to the dentist due to lack of dental insurance.
According to Brad Guyton, most dental insurances cover 100% of the cost of follow-up visits, so there is no reason for people with them to forgo such visits. At the same time, more than 3 in 4 (77%) Virginia residents believe that having dental insurance is a good motivation to take care of their oral health.
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