Emergency Dental Care Increases in Down Economy

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Emergency dental care on the riseAs a result of the recession — and people deferring treatment for economic reasons — nearly two-thirds of dentists say they’ve seen an increase in emergency calls.

In the current economy, our survey found that:

  • 63% of dentists say they have seen an increase in emergency treatment
  • 31% have noticed no change
  • 6% say calls for emergency care have actually decreased

In a slow economy, patients are more likely to defer dental care. This, in turn, leads to more dental emergencies. “They’re related,” said a California dentist.

“I do see a lot of patients delaying treatment, and opting for less expensive treatment, but emergency care is still about the same,” offered a Tennessee dentist.

Said a North Dakota dentist, “Here in the rural Midwest, we are not seeing the downturn that the rest of the country is. We are more
conservative and less debt ridden.”

“Our production is the same as last year but our collections are lagging,” said a Kentucky dentist. “More people are making payments on their bills instead of paying them off entirely.”

“We’ve especially seen an increase in cracked teeth due to severe clenching from stress,” noted a California dentist.


Note: Survey sample included 52 respondents.

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