DENISON, TX-- Signs of a troubled economy are popping up all over the place, even in your mouth. A local dentist says the number of major procedures are down significantly as people try to better balance their budget. Deeda Payton reports on the local impact.
The recession has people down in the mouth. "I'm having actually an implant because I had a tooth extracted and I shouldn't have," said dental patient, Jan Nees.
Jan Nees represents the thousands of people across the country whose teeth have suffered because of mounting financial pressure. "My husband has been out of work since September so that means no money coming in," said Nees.
By having her tooth pulled, she thought she was opting for a cheaper alternative, but realizes it's costing her more to repair the damage.
Doctor Stephen McAnaney says he sees several patients like Nees who let their troubled teeth go too long without the proper care because of financial strain at home. "We're seeing people that are being cautious. The number of people purchasing large, expensive treatments has declined," said McAnaney.
But, he says he is also doing a lot of preventative treatments for people who want to avoid any expensive problems in the future. "We see a lot of people that do come in while they still have money in their bank account or dental insurance. It's kind of like making an investment for the long term," said McAnaney.
McAnaney said he sympathizes with those struggling families who can't afford to make their teeth a priority right now. "Since [my husband] hasn't worked in almost nine months he's pretty close to having a nervous breakdown, so that's affecting the whole family," said Nees.
McAnaney warns that dental problems aren't always visible and often times aren't felt until it's too late. So rather than pay for an expensive emergency, his advice is to make dental hygiene a priority and take your teeth as seriously as you do your budget.
Deeda Payton, KTEN News.