Health risk: Skipping the dentist

By Emily Pantelides email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The economy and the impending holiday have many of us cutting back. But, we've uncovered something people are now doing without that might be putting their well being at risk.

The dreaded dentists drill. To some, it's the worst sound in the world. But lately, this sound seems to be scaring people more.

"It's people not showing up to the appointment, canceling the appointment, rescheduling the appointment," said pediatric dentist Myrna Bendeck. "I've been a dentist for 28 years."

Reporter asked, "Have you ever seen it this bad?"

Dr. Bendeck replied, "Never, Never."

Myrna and her teams appointment book is filled with blank spaces or spaces where people have canceled. "I think money is tight. Right now, a lot of people are losing their jobs and want to save money for the holidays.

"The reasons that we hear, 'I don't have the money right now', the situation is too unstable."

Problem is these dentists say skipping your appointments for monetary reasons is not only bad for your health, but, in the long run, could cost you more because you usually don't feel a problem until it's too late. "It's important to see the dentist regularly to treat the problems when they are small."

So, for now, these dentists say open up your mouth and checkbook, and, in the end, you will save money. "Unfortunately, it's costly."

If you are missing dental appointments and need help, call the dental clinic at your county's health department.