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Dentists May Not All Be Prepared For May 1st Reopening

Apr 30, 2020

Dentist offices are among the medical providers permitted to reopen Friday as part of the governor's health services reopening in Ohio. 

But they may not have the personal protective equipment they need. 

Many dentists donated their stock at the beginning of the pandemic, when it looked like hospitals might be overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases.   Governor Mike DeWine says the state has tried to provide PPE to dentists, but admits that the PPE supply chain "is a mess".  

"And so it certainly is possible that there is a dentist out there or someone who does not have those supplies.  We're trying to do what we can, and I know taht in the private secotr everyone is trying to do what they can to get the PPE they need. "  

Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says dental practices are *permitted* to open tomorrow - but they don't have to.  

"If a practice does not have the appropriate gear, they are not going to move forward.  So definitely talk to your provider; each practice is going to have to assess whether they have all the things they need."  

The Centers for Disease Control has recommended that non-emergency services be postponed until further notice, and the American Dental Association is offering dentists detailed lists of cleaning and screening strategies and a "chairside checklist' to help protect staff and patients.