Dentist offices getting back to normal during crisis

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Many dentist offices in the state are back open and offering their usuals services after being shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Atchison Dental Associates only performed emergency procedures for six weeks during the start of the crisis. That caused about 900 appointments to be canceled.

Now the office is seeing more patients, but the work is looking different than before.

“I think now, we’re probably at, I don’t know, maybe 90 percent of normal, what normal was. That may be our new normal, because it does take longer to clean a room, it does take longer to let the disinfectant set. There’s other steps involved which goes along with that, there’s more expense involved, so it just takes time to adapt to all this,” said Atchison dentist Allen Reavis.

Reavis also serves as the president of the Kansas Dental Association. He said offices are taking more precautions because of coronavirus.

They’re requiring customers to wear a mask, and taking their temperatures, using tools and filters to keep germs from spreading in the air, and washing their uniforms at the office.

“The bottom line is safety, so safety for the patient number one, and safety for all of us as well,” Reavis said.

He said he would feel terrible if he were to get someone sick, and hopes everyone in the building is being safe too.

“We have to be aware, you have to do precautions. I’ve got one lung, I don’t want to get a respiratory problem,” Reavis said.

He said some appointments like cleanings can be pushed back, but if there’s swelling or a decaying tooth, going to the dentist is necessary. But some people still are fearful.

“Some patients don’t want to come back yet,” Reavis said.

But he said dentist offices have been high safety standards for a long time, and even more so now.

“I think absolutely it’s very safe to go to the dentist, I think if you have a lot of comorbidities, a lot of health issues, and you’re concerned about it, let them know that, they can go the extra mile to make you feel comfortable,” he said.

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