WASHINGTON — Have you missed your scheduled teeth cleaning because of coronavirus Across the DMV, other than emergency procedures, dentists have shut down since mid-March.
As Maryland and Virginia plan to open back up, dentists across the area are worried about the health of their businesses and your mouth.
Most people probably wouldn't want to see four dentists in a day. It’s not a good sign for your mouth. But this week, I sat down with a group of four DMV dentists to get a closer look at the coronavirus impact for them.
"It's kind of up in the air as to how we are going to survive," Dr. Sina Reangber said.
Since the pandemic started. these dentists have all pretty much been shutdown.
"You go from the income of the practice to zero," Dr. Robert Zaner said.
While they haven't been able to work at normal capacity, they’ve taken out small business loans. They’ve doubled up on their personal protective equipment.
"PPEs -- they are hard to get, and let me tell you; the companies are jacking their prices up," Dr. Joseph Arzadon said.
Maryland and Virginia governors both announced they could return to normal work in May.
The dentists said they were already putting extra safety measures in place, not just for patients but for them as well.
"We are sort of on the front lines in a way," Dr. Mariano Polack said. "We are dealing with aerosols from patients every day."
But even with the reopeningde, ntists are not optimistic about a return to normal.
"We expect patients to be somewhat hesitant to comeback," Arzadon said.
That is bad for business, but even more so, it's bad for the patient’s oral health.
"People can go from treatable dental to problems to emergencies. and possible medical complications because of it," Zaner said.
Each dentist has a different type of practice, but they all see one thing in the coming future.
"We are trying to get funding because uncertainty is great," Polack said. "Like Joe (Arzadon) said, we don't know how patients are going to respond to this."
The dentists said they would like to see insurance companies set up and help with some of the added PPE costs. So far, no dental insurance companies have come forward with a plan.