Dental services in the US hit with inflated prices

CHICAGO, US: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the consumer price index back in 1995. Now, over two decades later, the government agency has recorded the largest monthly change for dental services in its reporting history. According to data, dental services increased by 1.9% in June—a result of the rising inflation in the country.

The prices of petrol, food, cars, medical care and clothing are soaring in the US. According to the consumer price index, which measures the average price change of goods and services paid by consumers, the prices were up by 9.1% in June compared with the previous year, which is the largest 12-month increase since 1981. Additionally, the prices of medical services increased by 0.7% in June.

“Eight out of ten dentists reported issuing pay raises for their dental hygienists and dental assistants within the past year, which is reflective of a competitive job market across many industries, including healthcare,” American Dental Association (ADA) President Dr Cesar R. Sabates said in a press release. “This is one of many factors driving inflation in the dental care sector,” he added.

Dentists concerned about the country’s economy

At the beginning of this year, the ADA Health Policy Institute published the results of polling which inquired into the economic outlook of dentists and the most challenging issues facing dental practices. The findings showed that 35% of the dentists were concerned about inflation and rising costs alongside persisting staffing challenges owing to COVID-19. Another poll, published in November 2021, had highlighted the rising prices of personal protective equipment. According to the dentists polled, the price of surgical masks had at least doubled since the beginning of the pandemic whereas the price of gloves had at least tripled.

“The US economy is being hit with a double whammy of lingering supply chain issues and an extremely tight labour market. Dentistry is caught up in this, as is the healthcare sector overall,” commented Dr Marko Vujicic, chief economist and vice president of the ADA Health Policy Institute.

 


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