Dentist hopes to return to work in early June | News

If you keep eating all your quarantine candy, soon you may need your dentist.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dentists who are not performing life-saving operations are out of a job.

“Our offices in Saginaw we’ve missed some 1,500-dental cleaning,” said Dentist Donald Sabourin.

Sabourin said he is anxious to get back to work but it going to take a lot of preparation.

“The CDC has said dental hygienist have the highest potential of exposure, just below respiratory therapists,” Sabourin said.

Margret Gingrich with the Michigan Dental Association said it will be hard to work because dentists can’t practice social distancing.

“We can’t have patients wear masks because we can’t see inside the mouth,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich said the dental association is advising dentists to make all staff and patients wear masks and take extra sanitizing precautions.

“Even our sterilizers double sterilize and have been doing that since the 1980s,” Gingrich said.

Sabourin said his office won’t use their lobby. He said they are installing special equipment so that patients can call in from the parking lot.

“What we call extra oral suction units. That will be above the patient’s head removing the extra aerosol that comes off the patient’s mouth as we’re doing procedures,” Sabourin said. “It’s kind of above and beyond what the CDC recommends.”

Another issue many dentists are having is the shortage of PPE after donating supplies to first responders.

“We have sent a letter to Governor Whitmer requesting to be put on the list when she received the FEMA PPE. And we’ve been told we’re on that list,” Sabourin said.

Sabourin hopes to receive the supplies and return to work by early June.

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