This cost-saving measure has teeth

I guess it was a couple nights ago that my youngest daughter was watching an episode of Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel, where it seems Miley was a wee bit afraid of going to the dentist. Well, she's not alone.

One of the casualties of the recession is the twice-a-year dental visit ritual that we're all supposed to participate in. People aren't just afraid of drills and learning that they have cavities, it seems; they're afraid of the dental bills that come afterward. The Chicago Dental Society recently took a survey of 300 dentists in the area, and more than 50% said that their patients are putting off necessary dental work. Sixty percent of the dentists reported a drop in elective procedures, and 40 percent have noticed fewer preventative visits.