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Dentists Seeing Increase in Issues in College-Aged Patients

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A Charlottesville dentist's office is seeing more college students dealing with big dental problems these days. They say it is because many do not have the insurance to fund regular check-ups.

Adria Sprouse did not go to the dentist throughout college because she did not have dental insurance and now she faces a costly consequence. "I couldn't afford it," says Sprouse, "My teeth started to rot. Even though I was brushing daily like I was supposed to, I couldn't get the cleaning that I needed."

Dr. Gary Haines of the Charlottesville Dental Health Partners says, "Dentistry isn't very high on their radar."

"It's just not part of their priorities" added Dr. Bill Viglione of the Charlottesville Dental Health Partners.

Without dental insurance, things like paying rent and budgeting income are keeping graduates out of the dentist chair and spending their money elsewhere.

Dr. Viglione says, "A little decay over the years can spread like wildfire"

Sprouse says, "I ended up having to have all my teeth filled."

Charlottesville Dental Health Partners encourages students without dental insurance to still pay and get cleanings twice a year. They say it will save their teeth - and bank accounts - in the end.

"People trying to save, a buck here and a buck there end up maybe being more expensive later because of more destruction in the teeth or gums," says Dr. Viglione.