Dentists playing catch up after months of COVID-19 shut down

Local News

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — As restrictions continue to change in Pennsylvania due to COVID-19, residents are trying to catch up on missed dental appointments. But having a toothache for the months-long shut down leads some dental professionals to worry.

“Dentistry really isn’t something where you should put off things because it’s not going to get better on its own,” Dr. Kyle Dumpert of Radiant Dental of Bedford said.

At Radiant Dental of Bedford, patients are screened before coming into the office with a wellness questionnaire, temperature check, and a mask requirement when not being treated.

Dr. Dumpert said dental offices have always followed infection control standards, like wiping down all surfaces between patients, and using high-volume suctions when working with a patient.

“Dental offices are a safe place to be. We’re second to operating rooms as far as infection control,” he said.

But it’s not just General Dentistry. Orthodontics also rely on regular visits.

“You tend to keep a schedule and if you get off, you can have people unattended to months and months at a time, and that’s not good either,” Dr. Matthew Radkowski from Allegheny Orthodontic Associates said,

Dr. Radkowski added those few months of shut down might lead to patients keeping their braces on longer.

“You can certainly have things that go wrong with unattended care, but now the biggest complaint is ‘Now, I have to be in these longer’,” he said.

Both doctors said you should be getting a cleaning every six months, so if something is wrong, it can be easily fixed.

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