More than nine months after the Ashland-Coronavirus pandemic, many local businesses are still struggling. But 37 Main St. The business was great for Dr. Sandra Cove, who owns a dental clinic in Japan.
“People are knocking down the door,” she said.
Pandemic anxiety is putting pressure on many. And that is often reflected in oral health, Cove said.
Given the stress of this time of the year, it’s not uncommon for Cove to see people around the holidays having problems. She sees a patient with a major dental problem at a speed never seen in her career.
Problems can range from worm teeth and inflamed gums to chipped or infected teeth.
“We do this in dentistry. Whenever people are under a lot of stress, a lot of crazy things happen-many root canals and broken teeth,” she said. .. “Most of this happens around Christmas and Thanksgiving, which lasts only a week or two, but this lasts for six months, where every day, due to stress, a few bottles. Your teeth need to be broken. They are on fire because they are overreacting to bacteria due to their reduced defense. ”
Dr. Mary Jane Hanlon, president of the Massachusetts Dental Association, said she was not surprised at the number of patients Cove saw in her new and serious dental problems.
“Sandra, as I know, is very busy and has a lot of practice,” she said. “Some practices never slowed down. They saw a lot of emergency care …. The bottom line is that people were so worried about going to the dentist that we saw a breakdown. It means that it is. ”
Some dental clinics are doing well, but others have been hit hard.
Hanlon is the Dean of the School of Operations at Tufts University and manages all clinical operations of the school. Unlike Cove, she said she saw a decrease in the number of visitors to the clinic. Before the pandemic, the university saw about 600 people a day. Now they are looking at half of that.
In June, the association conducted a survey to better understand how the state dental clinic was progressing during the pandemic. The survey was conducted by more than 400 dental clinic owners.
More than half of the respondents said they expect it to take seven months to a year or more to obtain patient numbers before a pandemic occurs.
According to a survey, nearly 90% of dental practice spends $ 8 to $ 29 or more per patient on personal protective equipment.
In addition, more than half of respondents said the pandemic cost $ 225,000 for office upgrades and patient losses.
Mr. Cove said he believes that the main reason people come to her office is because they are reassured that appropriate measures have been taken to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
After the pandemic in March, Cove did not resume until early July and some new safety measures were implemented. She said she was waiting to note what other dental practice had done before implementing her own new measures.
All her staff wear n95 masks and hepa filters and exhaust fans are used for air circulation. Then, between each patient, a disinfectant fogger is used to remove the virus particles floating in the air. She also keeps the office windows open to deflate.
Cove wears a face mask and protective clothing and sprays disinfectants between all patients.
Both Hanlon and Cove said they understand why some people are wary of going to the dentist during a pandemic, but the importance of regular inspections and appointments if tooth discomfort persists. Was emphasized.
Hanlon also said patients should be reassured that the dental office is taking appropriate steps to keep them safe. A recent study conducted by the American Dental Association found that less than 1 percent of dentists nationwide are virus-positive.
“That’s what people need to understand,” she said. “It’s very safe to go to the dentist.”
Dental clinics are accustomed to preventing infections from spreading to clinics, Cove said. Both the dentist and the dental hygienist wore masks and gloves at the time of booking before the pandemic began, and the device was discarded or completely cleaned between each patient.
“We practice this every day-infection control,” she said. “We experienced AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. We have to fight these viruses every day. We are used to it,” she said. “That’s a little more we have to do.”
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