Reopening Dental Offices

 
Greek dentist Dimitra Karaiskou, left, wearing a full protective suit against the coronavirus, along with her assistants Maria Vrettou, center, and Sofia Vasilaki, right, also wearing protective equipment, pose for a photo during the first day of the re-opening of their dental clinic, following a lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, in this file photo from May 4, 2020.

Greek dentist Dimitra Karaiskou, left, wearing a full protective suit against the coronavirus, along with her assistants Maria Vrettou, center, and Sofia Vasilaki, right, also wearing protective equipment, pose for a photo during the first day of the re-opening of their dental clinic, following a lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, in this file photo from May 4, 2020.

Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

Dental offices in Illinois have reopened for routine dental care. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’d been instructed to limit dental visits to emergency situations only.

Now state and federal agencies have issued guidance saying non-emergency dental care can resume as long as precautions are taken to protect both patients and staff.

That means screening everyone for COVID-19 symptoms and using the highest level of personal protective equipment available.

But dentists across the nation are struggling to secure an adequate supply of protective gear, and that has some who work in dental offices worried about returning.

Guests:

Christine Herman, health reporter with WILL's Illinois Newsroom and Side Effects Public Media

Jeanne Bosecker, president of the Illinois Dental Hygienists Association