Local dentist responds to the Coronavirus outbreak, explains changes in practice

News Connection

Dental professionals are among the groups of people that are at a higher risk of exposure to the novel Coronavirus

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all aspects of life, including routine visits to the dentist. The American Dental Association has recommended that dentists nationwide postpone elective procedures in response to the spread of the disease across the country.

Dental professionals are among the groups of people that are at a higher risk of exposure to the novel Coronavirus. Now, many are implementing social distancing to try and slow the spread of the disease.

“We feel like that protects us as well as the patient,” said Thomas Marsden, DDS who practices in San Angelo, “We are not doing elective-type procedures. The reason for that is because when we are in the mouth of a patient, it picks up a lot of aerosol, molecules and particles. That comes back at us so we’re trying to do things that do not require the handpiece to be used.”

According to Dr. Marsden, his staff has been rescheduling patient appointments to a later date and spreading out patients who are coming in for procedures.

“We are spacing the patients out so that we have no more than two patients in the waiting room at one time,” continued Dr. Marsdem.

Additionally, the temperatures of patients and workers are being taken when they enter the building.

Dr. Marsden said his office is trying to adjust to changes in the best way possible and while his hygienists and other employees are not working in the office for the time being, they will continue to be paid.

“They will be paid when they’re not here. We are working with a skeleton crew right now. We usually have a regular staff of eight people. Right now, while this is going on, we are trying to work with a crew of three every day,” said Dr. Marsden.

Dr. Marsden mentioned that he is happy patients are understanding of the changes during these times. He anticipates scheduling elective procedures once again within the next month or two.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Current status of COVID-19 testing in San Angelo