People in a wide variety of careers are being impacted by concerns over the coronavirus, and local dentists are taking unprecedented steps to keep their patients safe.
“Our goal is just not to overwhelm the medical system at this point,” Dr. Sumeet Bagai, a dentist at DuPage Dental Smiles, said.
Dentists across the country are closing their practices because of the virus, and the reason why is easy to understand.
“Dentists are probably one of the highest-risk professions,” Bagai said. “They’re saying to stay six feet away from people, but in our practice we’re six inches from people.”
Bagai closed his practice Monday after receiving guidance from the Illinois State Dental Society and the American Dental Association. Dentists are being urged to postpone elective procedures for the next three weeks to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Some emergency procedures are still allowed, including when patients are dealing with swelling or pain, but most procedures are being put on hold.
“Procedures we’re not doing at this point are routine cleanings, fillings that we don’t anticipate are going to cause a problem over the next few months, crowns, anything cosmetic, veneers and whitening,” Bagai said. “An emergency procedure would be an accident where you hit your face and fracture or break a tooth or multiple teeth.”
Bagai says the closures will impact the bottom line of many businesses, but knows it’s necessary to keep people safe.
“The whole point is to slow the progression so people don’t get the disease right away,” Bagai said.