Weeks ago, the American Dental Association recommended dentists close shop during the COVID-19 outbreak. Local dentists and oral surgeons are closing their doors to elective procedures, but are still serving those with emergencies.
Dr. Mark Baker says, "I got a long list of projects for the kids and they're hating it. I think they'd rather be in school. I know they'd rather be in school."
Dr. Mark Baker is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for Oral Surgery Specialists of Idaho practice in Pocatello. During the pandemic he is keeping his kids busy with yard work while they are out of school and the practice he works at is closed for elective procedures.
Dr. Baker says, "Two weeks ago there was an email communication that went out asking if specialists and dentists would close their offices. So, we have already been closed for two weeks."
Now with governor little's Stay-at-Home order Baker says, "In essence we will have been closed for five to six weeks."
While closed to elective procedures, Oral Surgery Specialists of Idaho is still open for emergencies.
Baker says, "An abscessed tooth can cause a life-threatening infection."
If untreated, those with oral infections will have to go to the emergency room, which is something doctors want to avoid during the pandemic.
Baker says, "We're trying to take care of any infections that might compromise the health and well being of patients."
If the governor allows businesses to open up again in mid April, there is going to be an influx in patient procedures. That means the practice may have to change it's hours to accommodate.
Baker says, "If we need to work some extra hours, some extra days, we'll do that you bet. Whatever we need to do to take care of patients and take care of the community."
When a patient has a dental emergency, extra precautions, like taking the patient's temperature, are being implemented.