Dental care delayed most for older adults during pandemic: Study

Dental care was delayed more than any other care by older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a March report from the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health.

CareQuest analyzed responses from three surveys of Medicare recipients. The findings show that during summer 2020, 21 percent of Medicare recipients delayed some type of care because of the disruptions caused by the pandemic. This equates to 13 million people. Of that group, nearly 44 percent delayed dental care, the highest percentage of any type of care.

The analysis found that delays in care differed by race and ethnicity. During the summer and fall of 2020, the percentage of those who delayed care increased among Black recipients but decreased for white and Hispanic recipients. 

The delayed care could lead to an increase in oral disease diagnosis for older adults, the authors of the report said.

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