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CHICAGO — Oral health can be a concern for people who are sheltering at home.
Dentistry is defined by close contact with patients, and distancing in the era of COVID-19 poses new challenges.
From the air down to the water, a local doctor is bringing high tech infection control to his neighborhood office.
When news of the virus shutting down China made its way to the U.S, Dr. Michael Czarkowski sunk his teeth deep into research.
“We’ve got to come up with a plan and I’m a pro-active person so I tried to figure out what do I have to do in my practice to protect my patients, my team and my family,” he said.
The dentist who typically sees 80 to 100 patients a week now sees about five for emergency procedures only.
And with worries about COVID-19, the phone isn’t exactly ringing off the hook.
“I can just tell some people are nervous,” he said. “But once they see what we’ve done, I can see their anxiety level diminish.”
Air filtration system bathed in UV light cleans particles from the air. The office has its own heating and cooling system.
“We can control the air coming in so we have kind of a positive pressure system you’d see in a hospital operating room,” Czarkowski said.
In the dental chair, droplets are an occupational hazard.
“We have to deal with patients as far as aerosols,” he said. “When we prepare teeth we drill, we create an aerosol. How are we going to control that? What’s the best thing we can do?”
Czarkowski said they use a unit that “takes the aerosol we create when we prepare a tooth for a filling, a crown or a bridge, and sucks it through the machine and runs it through a series of filters.”
Any aerosolized droplets are filtered through a medical grade system that eliminates virus bacteria and mold particles and vented out of the building.
“These units we can rotate the air and clean the air 16 times per hour,” Czarkowski said.
With all the new tools in place, Czarkowski hopes the high tech will ease some of the pain when it comes to a visit to the dentist.
“They know me. They trust me. They expect me to provide and take care of them,” he said. “I take that responsibility seriously.”
All the new technology and the necessary PPE adds up. Czarkowski said he will have to consider an infection control fee to cover the added costs.
San Antonio – A Northwest Side dentist said he welcomed Monday’s news from Gov. Greg Abbott about allowing dentists and doctors to reopen, but he admits it’s going to be a little bit of a process to open back up.
Dr. Willie Cantu, who owns Smile Solutions in the 13100 block of Northwest Military Drive, said he will probably will start seeing patients Monday.
Cantu said he and his staff will review their supply of personal protection equipment to make sure they have everything they need.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has released his plans to reopen Texas. Here’s what we know
He also said they will probably use their parking lot as a virtual waiting room to make sure social distancing is practiced.
“Today was welcome news, but we’ll have to certainly take baby steps to kind of get back started again because it’s been a bit,” Cantu said. “And, we got to get a lot of folks in, and hopefully everybody remains patient and understanding that we’re trying to work through, you know, some real difficult times with keeping everybody safe while still trying to treat patients.”
Cantu said he understands there will be some patients and staff members who may not be comfortable coming back but he said he’s ready to go back to work and his office will be operating in a way to keep his patients and staff safe.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.
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The Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) is the agency within the Maryland Department of Health charged with monitoring the quality of care in Maryland’s health care facilities and community-based programs.
The Office of Health Care Quality licenses and certifies facilities and programs throughout Maryland. Licensing authorizes a facility to do business in the state. Certification authorizes a facility to participate in Medicare and Medicaid Programs. OHCQ surveys these facilities and programs to determine compliance with State and federal regulations, which set forth minimum standards for the delivery of care.
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Office of Health Care Quality
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Due to the current State of Emergency around the COVID-19 Health Advisory, all board and licensing business is being done electronically via email at this time. Please do not call the office or any board phone listed on this page at this time. Please email the Staff listed below and your inquiry will be responded to as soon as possible during normal business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.
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Contact the Board of Medicine.
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The board has compiled a list of resources for prescribing opioid for pain management.
The Board is looking for volunteers for the following Legislative Committees/Commissions:
At its meeting on January 8, 2020,
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