Safe

Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist Again?

At Dr. Todd Bertman’s office, the receptionist wears a plastic face shield. So do the hygienist and the nine doctors in the practice in Manhattan’s East Village.

Dr. Bertman reopened the office two weeks ago after closing it in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In another change from the past, he has switched from ultrasonic cleaners that spray water and saliva into the air to laser instruments.

The dentists and hygienists wear head-to-toe personal protective equipment that they change between appointments, a time-consuming, awkward ritual that requires them to take off booties, gowns, goggles, masks, gloves and the shields and replace them with clean ones.

“It’s like changing out of a spacesuit,” Dr. Bertman said. “It’s annoying as hell but this is what it kind of comes down to until we find a vaccine.”

As of June 19, every state had allowed dentists’ offices to reopen for all

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You’ll likely notice changes as soon as you enter the office. Many dentists have removed magazines from waiting rooms, for example, as well as some chairs to encourage social distancing.

They also are spacing out appointments to avoid crowding their offices.

You may be asked to arrive for your appointment with a facial covering and to wait in your car until equipment is cleaned and the dentist is ready. Before receiving care, you can also expect staff to take your temperature and ask about COVID-19 symptoms.

Procedures are changing, too.

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Some dentists are charging for all the extra gear, so ask in advance if you should expect extra costs.

Coronavirus is spread mainly through droplets people spray when

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Is It Safe To Go Back To The Dentist Despite Surging Coronavirus Cases? : Shots

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of protective equipment she wears when treating patients.

Elaine Thompson/AP


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Elaine Thompson/AP

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of protective equipment she wears when treating patients.

Elaine Thompson/AP

Add dental visits to the list of services you can book now or shortly as cities, counties and states continue to modify their months-long stay-at-home orders aimed at reducing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Dental offices were largely shuttered across the United States after being advised in March by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to close their practices to all but emergency care. Many closed entirely.

The hope was that by allowing dentists to continue to treat serious cases — such as

Read More

Is It Safe To Go Back To The Dentist, Despite Surging Coronavirus Cases? : Shots

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures, and are working under updated CDC guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of PPE she wears when treating patients, among other precautions.

Elaine Thompson/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Elaine Thompson/AP

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures, and are working under updated CDC guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of PPE she wears when treating patients, among other precautions.

Elaine Thompson/AP

Add dental visits to the list of services you can book now or shortly, as cities, counties and states continue to modify their months-long stay at home orders aimed at reducing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Dental offices were largely shuttered across the United States after being advised in March by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Read More