Area dentists adjusting procedures during COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Area dentists are having to change up their routines and procedures when it comes to handling patients during the pandemic.

“We’re putting ourselves at a certain risk by seeing these patients but we feel that this risk is justified because we are keeping people out of the ER,” said Dr. William Graves, Amarillo Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. “Instead of placing people on antibiotics for a few days, like some people would do in the past, is we’re being more aggressive in treating those patients and treating those cases just to make sure these cases don’t develop into something that doesn’t require hospitalization,” said Graves.

Which lessens the potential exposure for a patient and allows more time and space for medical staff to focus on handling potential cases of COVID-19.

“We want the hospital and the resources of the hospital to be used for sick people and not for people with toothaches,” said Dr. Graves.

To focus more on patients who are in pain that could lead to potential visits, Graves said they are cut out all non-essential dental work like cleanings, whitenings, and other oral procedures.

They are also asking patients a more detailed questionnaire.

“Making sure they haven’t traveled outside of the United States and even now we’re making sure they haven’t traveled outside of Texas, those are some of the questions that we’ve been asking these patients just to kind of maybe lower the risk of one of our employees possibly contracting this. Everyone we see is obviously not a COVID-19 patient and everybody we see, we may prevent from getting COVID-19 because they don’t end up in an ER,” said Dr. Graves.

Dr. Graves added for an extra layer of protection, all of his employees are wearing N-95 masks.

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