Q: My dentist in Massachusetts told me all the dental offices are closed for three weeks, except for emergencies. What is the status of dental offices in Florida and what kind of work can I safely have done?
A: Firstly on a side note (and to change the subject from the pandemic to something more uplifting), I just wanted to say thank you for all the cards, emails, phone calls and social media messages thanking me and my staff for all the pro-bono implant and cosmetic dental reconstructions we have performed on Holocaust survivors living at or below the poverty level.
When I asked a 95 year old Auschwitz survivor with his concentration camp number tattooed on his arm, “what got you through your ordeal?” he began to cry and replied: “Hope. As long as the sun came up in the morning, you had hope.”
Let this be a lesson for all of us in these fearful times that each day is another day we can all have hope in stopping the pandemic.
As of the writing of this column, 3pm on Tuesday March 17th as I attempt to eat a take-out turkey club with gloves, disposable gowns and goggles on, I bring you the following update regarding dental practice in Florida:
THERE HAS BEEN NO MANDATE ISSUED BY ANY GOVERNMENT OR LEGAL BODY TO CLOSE DENTAL OFFICES OR LIMIT TREATMENT TO EMERGENCY CARE.
The ADA and the Florida Dental Association states: In order for dentistry to do its part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the ADA recommends dentists nationwide postpone (only) elective procedures for the next three weeks.
Elective procedures are defined as: tooth whitening, orthodontic therapy (braces), replacement of amalgam (silver) restorations with tooth-colored restorations for cosmetic reasons, and replacement of functionally acceptable but esthetically impaired anterior (front teeth) crowns.
Important non-elective treatment, not to be postponed, are: cleanings, exams, root canals, periodontal treatment, some dental implants, extractions, removal of decay, crowns, bridges and making dentures. Dental offices are safe and follow OSHA guidelines of infection control and screening patients.
God bless all.