Although many of us have experienced a supply chain issue, "COVID delay", or reschedule of some sort, it is still frustrating! In the dental world, we have been challenged with a lack of qualified staff returning to work. Dental hygienists are the professionals who clean teeth. About 95% of hygienists are female. This lends itself to a profession that is greatly affected by schooling at home, childcare shortages and infection control concerns.
When dental offices were permitted to return to work, we saw many employees not coming back to work for some of the reasons mentioned above. Between being off work for a few months, less staff returning and a greater awareness of oral health (hello masks!), we have seen an overall backlog in routine care. As we approach the end of the end, and for many an end of dental benefits for the 2021 year, be mindful of your schedule! We are seeing about 1 month + lead time on scheduling for routine cleanings and maintenance. Don't let those benefits you have been paying for all year expire!