Dental society requests dentists postpone all non-emergency procedures indefinitely during pandemic
Illinois dentists should postpone all in-person dental treatment, with exception of emergency procedures, indefinitely due to the new coronavirus pandemic, according to new guidance from the Illinois State Dental Society.
The society’s original guidance recommended in-person treatment be postponed or rescheduled through the end of March, but the society’s President-elect Dr. Alice Boghosian told Health News Illinois Tuesday that the continued spread of the virus has made it impossible to foresee when practices can resume regular operations.
“It’s critical that we stop all elective, non-essential dental treatment at this time,” she said, adding it is impossible to maintain “social distance” when performing routine dental care. “It’s our moral obligation and duty to mitigate as much as possible the spread of this virus.”
Dr. Stacey Van Scoyoc, a Bloomington-based dentist and vice president of the society, said the recommendations will require a financial sacrifice for many practices, but one necessary to protect the community’s overall health.
As dentists see fewer patients, Boghosian and Van Scoyoc said many have started to donate their own personal protective equipment to local hospitals and providers that are strapped for supplies.
“It preserves the protective equipment for the entire, greater cause of the entire healthcare service during this pandemic,” Van Scoyoc said.
Boghosian said that by continuing to offer in-person emergency services at their offices, dentists are helping to keep patients away from crowded hospital emergency rooms.
“If an oral surgeon can keep a patient out of the hospital by just simply extracting their tooth, that’s one less body that you have to topple and overflow an already overcrowded hospital,” she said.
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