After nearly two months of shuttered offices or emergency-only work, California and Sacramento dentists are reopening this week to more patients.
That puts dental offices squarely on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic and poses serious questions for patients, dental employees and dentists:
How safe is a dental visit? What precautions are needed? Should some patients wait a few more weeks before going in?
Dental offices involve close contact that produces aerosol particles that can carry the virus. That said, both the state Department of Public Health and the California Dental Association last week signaled to dentists they can ramp up with patient loads, if they follow coronavirus-safety guidelines.
It means dental office visits are going to be notably different now than they were a few months ago. Here is at look at the issues and likely changes:
What are dental offices now allowed to do?
That is up