One local dentist says he was ‘blindsided’ by PA Department of Health’s recent order

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BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania State Department of Health ordered all dental offices to stop emergency operations unless their facilities meet certain criteria.

The state department of health is taking this precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Dentists tell me they were blindsided by what they say are “stringent guidelines,” forcing them to shut down.

“We’re all effectively shut down and basically telling patients to call the Department of Health,” says Kyle Dumpert, a dentist and the owner of Radiant Dental of Bedford.

On Sunday night, the Department of Health made the announcement on its website, but Dumpert says no one officially told him.

“They did not ask any of the dental organizations that we’re aware of, they did not reach out to the offices to let us know about their directive.”

The post says dental offices can remain open for emergency operations if they meet specific guidelines.

“You have to have an N95 mask, full mask and full protection of the face with face and side shields. They also are requiring a negative pressure room with HEPA filtration,” says Dumpert.

He says these are things you wouldn’t typically find in a dentist’s office.

“Maybe in the operating room, you would see that if you were trying to eliminate any kind of bacteria or infectious agent that might be in the room but dental schools are not designed that way, private offices are not designed that way and a lot of hospitals are not designed that way.”

Dumpert says the future is filled with uncertainty.

“We’re contacting patients, we’re rescheduling but because the Department of Health has not given us any kind of a timeline, everything that is being scheduled is just tentative at this point.”

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