Topeka dentist virtually helps patient with temporary filling

Health Check

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Topeka dentist is helping patients while following closed-office recommendations from The American Dental Association.

The ADA advised dentists nationwide to keep offices closed to everything but emergency care through the end of the month, at the earliest. Dr. Hannah Naeger, a dentist at Shunga Family Dental Care in Topeka, agrees with the recommendations and is enforcing them.

“First and foremost, we put the patients health first,” Naeger said. “In a time like this, keeping patients safe from contracting and spreading COVID-19 is more important than getting the plaque off your teeth. Anytime we are cleaning out any disease, whether it is plaque, a cavity, tarter, we are stirring a lot in your mouth. That’s why we are constantly rinsing and suctioning, but it’s really dangerous in this situation. One of the main ways coronavirus is spread is through aerosols.”

Naeger helps non-emergency dental patients over the phone and email. One of those people recently had a filling fall out, and Naeger walked them through a fix.

“We’ve been in communication over email,” Naeger said. “I don’t have any of my teaching materials here at home, so I was using silly putty and a marker and drew things out. So he got his own personalized video. It was a really unique experience. I had never had to teach anyone how to do that before, or explain those intricacies before. But it was really rewarding, because now he’s in a good place until I am able to see him and do some actual work on him.”

Naeger is using creative thinking to provide elective and preventative dental care virtually during the coronavirus outbreak.

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