Indiana News

Dental offices reopen in Indiana as part of governor’s plan

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dental care offices have new safety measures in place as Gov. Eric Holcomb allowed them to reopen Monday.

Health care professionals at Same Day Dental are wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep patients and themselves safe.

“It’s come under the recommendation from OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) as well as the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that if there is a constraint on N-95 masks over it in order to preserve it,” said CEO Dustin Netral.

The office has been open for emergency appointments, but it’s slowing accepting nonelective services.

Workers are screening patients over the phone by asking patients if they’re experiencing flu-like symptoms or have traveled out the country recently. Patients are also getting their temperature checked at the door.

“For our waiting room we’ve basically converted it to the parking lot, so we asked people to wait in their cars and then we’ll call them in one at at time,” Detral said. “If for some reason they have a transportation issue or they don’t have a vehicle, then they can sit in the waiting room.”

Many dental offices are still closed, despite the state government lifting some restrictions. Dental Care Today in Fishers is opening on May 4.

“The challenging part is getting our hands on enough of the supplies,” said dentist and owner Dr. Dale Behner.

Behner said it will take some getting use to for everyone, including patients to get use to the safety measures in the upcoming weeks or months to come.

“All of the barriers, face shields, masks and eye protection; a lot of patients are scared and have a phobia about coming to the dentist anyway — especially children,” said Dr. Behner. “I don’t what type of a visual impact that’s going to have on them and what mechanisms will be available to allay their fears.”