More dental care providers in Rutland hope to meet high demand post-pandemic
Routine — and sometimes urgent — dental care was put on the back burner by a lot of patients during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, the Vermont Department of Health found that nearly one-third of Vermont adults did not access the dental care system yearly. During COVID-19, these rates dropped nationwide, and were slow to recover.
Now, in Vermont, the demand is growing again. In Rutland and Addison counties, the need is being met with increased staff at Community Health in Rutland.
The dental health center says it now has eight dentists on staff including a part-time endodontist to perform root canals.
The news is being celebrated by the Open Door Clinic in Middlebury, a free health service for uninsured and under-insured adults in Addison County.
Fernanda Canales is the clinic's dental director, and says the new capacity for patients at Community Health should help with some of the overflow they've had at Open Door Clinic.
"Our program runs basically one day a week, you know, we have a dental clinic one day a week, and I have a five page waiting list of patients who are looking for appointments."
Canales says neglecting routine dental care can lead to more serious health issues, including heart ailments.
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