OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As many offices open back up, people can start seeing their dentist for non-emergency procedures again.
One dentist says she’s seen an increase in need for dental professionals during the pandemic because not every provider had their doors open.
During Shelter-in-Place, people could only see the dentist for emergencies. Dr. Rachelle Beebe says the best way to describe an emergency is if someone is feeling pain.
Beebe, a dentist at Moore Dentistry and Braces, was in the midst of opening a second dental practice, i240 Dental, before the pandemic started. The opening has been pushed back until May 4.
She says quarantine has made some people more aware of their dental health.
“Because we have so many people that came in during the pandemic in pain, and now we have so many people noticing during quarantine, they have a little pain when chewing or discomfort, it wouldn’t quite fall under the emergency category, but now it’s just going to take a couple minutes for them to come in and put their mind at ease so they know what’s going on,” she said.
Going to the dentist won’t look the same as it did before. There are plenty of precautions in place to follow CDC guidelines.
Patients will be asked to fill out a health history questionnaire. Masks are required. Both patients and staff members will have their temperatures taken, and patients will wait in their car until their appointment.
Dentists will be in more personal protective equipment than usual, including face shields and gowns.
“You probably won’t see my face for a very long time. It’s all the same health equipment that you’re seeing on the news that hospital workers are working with,” Beebe said.
She says she wants to remind people you can go to the dentist for any procedure now, including braces, crowns, implants and more, not just for emergencies.
“This is the first time we’ve had many people be ecstatic about getting their teeth cleaned,” she said.
Not every dentist is opening up their practice completely. Check with your provider to see what procedures are available.
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