Edinburg dentist warns of potential consequences of not keeping appointments during pandemic
Rio Grande Valley dentists say they are seeing more patients delay their routine dental check ups because of coronavirus concerns--but that could have major consequences.
Dr. A.C. Villarreal is the lead dentist at A.C. Villarreal Family Dental in Edinburg.
Villarreal says he and his colleagues have seen fewer patients, even during their typically busy times like summer, Christmas break and spring break since the start of the pandemic.
Some patients have since started falling through the cracks, Villarreal says, and need to get different types of procedures because they put off their original appointment date.
"If I saw a patient maybe a year ago, a year and a half ago, and I identified a small area of cavities or decay, that little area of decay that could have been a small little filling, we wait a year, we wait a year and a half, we wait two years, that thing could turn into a root canal," Villarreal said. "It could turn into a need for an extraction."
Villarreal says his practice has medical grade air filters, UV lights and safety protocols in place to keep his staff and patients safe, and encourages patients to set up an appointment with their dentist before a problem arises.
"I really do recommend that you reach out to your dentist, maintain those dental appointments," Villarreal said. "If there are these comorbidities--the diabetes, the hypertension--please do not let that be a factor as to why we allow some of our dental problems to become larger issues."