High demand creates dental delays

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Dentists are feeling the pressure to keep up with demand before being drilled down. Dental offices in the Grand Valley say they've noticed an increase in new customers lately and trying to find an appointment time may take longer than you think.

Dental offices say wait time can take anywhere from 24 hours to three weeks depending on where you go.

"We're staying busy,” said Mailyn D’Aponti, Office Manager at Ruby Canyon Dental.

So busy, that wait times have been backed up at some places.

"We were a couple of months out getting patients in for their cleanings especially with the hygienist,” said Kristy Schmidt, Director of Community Relations with Marillac Health.

Dentists say it all comes down to high demand. As more people are moving into the Grand Valley and looking for dental offices.

In fact, the Mesa County Public Health Needs Assessment posted statistics from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation which says for every one dentist they have approximately 1,390 patients.

So, Marlliac Health decided to add a new dental hygienist.

"We are still able to get new patients, adults, seniors and children within two to three weeks,” said Schmidt.

Ruby Canyon Dental on 25 ½ Road and Patterson road started making changes last fall.

"We have ten operatories currently, we're adding four more rooms so we will have 14, we've added a new associate,” said D’Aponti.

They say they can get people into their office in less than 24 hours if it's an emergency.

"He needs to have some teeth pulled so my dentist recommended this dentist, so that's why we're here,” said Theresa Walch, Grand Junction Resident and user of Ruby Canyon Dental.

Adding more staff, more rooms, and working longer hours.

"We're open Monday through Friday at 7 a.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays we run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” said D’Aponti.

A few dentists in the valley say their wait times range from a few days to a couple weeks. For new patients, it may take a little longer.

To make an appointment or become a patient with Marillac Health call (970) 298-6320 or to contact Ruby Canyon Dental call (970) 241-1313.

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