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Springfield dentists say it is safe to return for routine visits despite WHO recommendations

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 6:17 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -The World Health Organization’s latest recommendations advise you to put off non-essential visits to the dentist, like a routine teeth cleaning, for a little while longer. Springfield dentists disagree.

“Is it safe to go to the dentist? Well yeah, yeah absolutely,” said Dr. Joe Dills with Parkcrest Dental Group.

Dr. Dills said it’s been businesses as usual at their office since re-opening. Many of their patients are coming in for routine cleanings, which he recommends.

”When we were shut down for that period seeing emergencies only: infections, swelling, pain,” he said. “Most of that is preventative by doing this stuff that we’re doing every day, so is it necessary on some level? Absolutely it is.”

His office is taking safety precautions, like screening people at the door, and increasing personal protective equipment.

“We’ve added N95 [masks], KN95 [masks], face shields, gowns, hair coverings, all of the things that we need to protect us but also to keep you guys as patients safe as well,” Dr. Dills said.

They’re not the only ones.

”Now we do what I call PPE on Steroids,” said Dr. Howard Shayne with Fox Grape Family Dentistry.

Dr. Shayne said his office is taking every safety precaution it can. They’re also screening patients at the door, and limiting the number of people inside.

”This is a droplet or aerosol transmitted virus,” he said. “One of the things we’ve implemented are these external vacuum systems, it actually sits by the patients mouth and it draws the aerosol away from the patient and from us.”

Dr. Shayne is also the representative for the Central Dental Society. He will be doing a safety training with local dentists at the end of the month.

”As long as your office is taking the proper precautions, there is really no danger,” D.r Shayne said.

The Centers for Disease Control’s latest recommendations call for additional safety precautions, but does not advise against routine procedures.

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