Dentists Push Off Routine Visits Due to COVID-19
If you have a dentist appointment it may have to wait.
Over at Bassett Creek Dental in Golden Valley their office is closed except for emergencies. The story is much the same across the northwest metro, as dental offices closed to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have one doctor on call for emergencies,” said Denise Rhymes, Office Manager at Bassett Creek Dental.
They are operating with extremely minimal staff in the office. None of the hygienists are in and work is primarily consisting of rescheduling appointments.
“We will remain closed through the 30th and reopen on the 31st,” said Rhymes. Rhymes also stressed that this is tentative and could change as the situation progresses.
Minnesota Board of Dentistry Weighs In.
The Minnesota Board of Dentistry issued the following recommendation for Minnesota dentists on Monday March 16th.
“The Minnesota Board of Dentistry has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation and has issued guidance as it becomes available. We greatly appreciate the commitment of dental professionals to treat patients and provide continuity of care at this time. However, given the emerging information in the last few days, we recommend that dental clinics postpone any non-emergent or elective dental care for two weeks starting on March 17, 2020. We anticipate that we will receive more state and federal guidance over the next few weeks concerning how providers can prevent transmission of the virus and safely treat patients. Although this is not currently mandated, we believe it is in the best interest of patients and providers alike. We also recommend that you provide patients with emergency contact information for dentists to prevent them from seeking care in emergency room settings, in the case that they have a true dental emergency.”
But what constitutes an emergency?
The American Dental Association has created a detailed outline for dentists describing emergency and non-emergency procedures.
“The American Dental Association recognizes the unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances dentists and all health care professionals face related to growing concern about COVID-19,” according to the March 16 statement from ADA President Chad P. Gehani. “Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for our emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments.”
Minnesota Governor steps in.
On Thursday Governor Tim Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-09 which stated that all elective medical procedures “including non-emergent or elective dental care, that utilize PPE or ventilators must be postponed indefinitely.”
The bad news is, if you have a non-emergency dental appointment, it’s going to have to wait. You can’t get your teeth cleaned for a while. The good news is that if you have a true emergency most dental offices are able to accommodate you.
For updates on businesses and services in your area during the COVID-19 outbreak turn to CCX Media for local information in your community.