Posted by Cyber CFO
In an article at the Virginian Pilot local dentist are feeling the pinch of a tough economy. The past few years have been rough for a profession that typically doesn’t experience rough years. In fact, some Hampton Roads dentists say it’s the worst they’ve seen in careers that span decades.
“I really thought I was recession-proof,” said Dr. James Nottingham, a dentist for 33 years with an office in Norfolk.
As the economy sank, patients put off elective procedures, like veneers, or even necessary procedures, like fixing broken teeth. They dropped out of sight after losing jobs or insurance, and those still clinging to employment neglected preventive care to save what they could.
If things got too bad, they showed up at local emergency departments, where the number of visits for dental problems seems higher in the past two years, said Dr. Carl Wentzel, emergency department medical director at Bon Secours Harbour View Health Center in Suffolk.
Emergency physicians can prescribe antibiotics for an infection or drain an abscess, but can’t crown a chipped tooth or fill a cavity.