Glen Carbon dentist recovering from coronavirus: ‘I’m getting stronger every day’

Updated


EDWARDSVILLE — When an email from the Illinois State Dental Society recommended for dental offices in the state to shut down for two weeks starting March 17, Glen Carbon dentist Dr. Briana Oller’s thoughts were on her patients at Simply Smiles.

“I was very scared. I was very nervous for my employees. I was nervous for my patients, who I wasn’t going to be able to serve. I was nervous for myself. How was I going to be able to make the bills of my business and the personal bills,” Oller said.

Those fears became secondary when Oller, 42 with no underlying issues, was diagnosed with coronavirus on March 30 after battling a headache, fever and loss of taste and smell. She was tested on March 26, nine days after a headache started.

“We don’t know where I got this. We have no clue,” said Oller, who hasn’t traveled outside the country. “We now know I’ve had my symptoms since March 17. We believe exposure occurred sometime around March 13 somewhere in the community because my mom is also positive for the coronavirus. She has followed a similar timeline but started a day later than me. The last time we were together was March 13. It is in our community and it has been this whole time.”




Oller has been recovering from her home with her two daughters, who haven’t shown any symptoms.

All of Oller’s symptoms have subsided except the fever, which is hovering around 100.5 degrees. The highest it reached was 101.9 degrees.

“I’m getting stronger every day and it’s no longer up and down like it was. The breathing is so much better. I feel like the worst part is beyond me,” Oller said.


Late Thursday morning, Oller used a 10-minute Facebook video to share her emotions through the journey. As of Sunday afternoon, it has been viewed approximately 69,500 times and with over 2,800 shares.

“It actually was very hard for me to post because I’m a pretty private person, but I was compelled to tell my story to help spread awareness,” Oller said. “Besides my vulnerability and raw emotions, I worried about spreading fear. With that being said, I felt people knew me better that because I’m an extremely optimistic person. I can find positive

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Dentist creates 3D masks to fight coronavirus shortages

CUMMING, Ga. — A Georgia dentist spent the weekend brainstorming with friends that had a background in engineering and medicine to help fill the shortage of face masks for those on the front line.

Dr. Mark Causey runs a 3D capable orthodontic office that can scan patients and create full models of their teeth.

As dental offices close during the coronavirus outbreak, Causey has found a way to help the rest of the medical community. 

“There have been nurses in OR’s that have written my staff messages saying they were crying because they weren’t being given the proper equipment,” explains Causey.

He started by creating a 3D design for a mask that, when adding a filter and seal, can make potential substitutes for medical professionals. 

3D Printing Mask

Dr. Mark Causey

Causey has made over 80 in the past few days and says it’s “better than a bandanna, a scarf or a homemade mask,” but goes on to explain that it’s a backup to be used during a shortage. He’s already sent out most of those masks to medical professionals in Georgia, Tennessee and California.  

“If people have protective equipment like N95 masks and so forth that are adequate, this shouldn’t be used. But this may be a solution for shortages,” said Causey. 

What makes his mask different than the fabric or other homemade designs, is the HEPA filter and seal on the back to get a tight fit against the face. Causey uses a Shop-Vac HEPA filter, disassembled and stretched out so it can be cut to fit the mask. 

Causey says the public can drop off the 3D masks they create to his office and he can fit them with the seal. To avoid contamination, he’s asking the medical professionals that use them to purchase the HEPA material. Causey says design allows them to change the material as often as need to keep it clean. 

Causey Orthodontics office is located at 3520 Rowe Lane, Suite 200, Cumming, GA 30041.

► CLICK HERE TO GET CAUSEY’S 3D TEMPLATE


As word has spread, other dentists have offered to serve as drop off sites and finish the masks before delivery. See the full list at the bottom of this story. 

The masks are not FDA approved or designed to replace N95 masks, but a hospital in Savannah is helping to test them out, should there be a critical need. 

Doctor Puya Davoodi with Northeast Georgia Plastic Surgery has already started wearing his at work.

“You can actually see the breathing…So what we do is we wear this mask, [with] my surgical mask on top of it,” said Davoodi. 

RELATED: Coronavirus in Georgia: Cases now stand at 1,026 with 32 deaths

Since he created his website with the design details, he says more than 2,400 people have downloaded the plans to begin production themselves, including staff in the STEM lab at Union High School. 


Causey says anyone with a 3D printer can do this with the

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Can I still go to the dentist? How coronavirus is changing the way we look after our teeth

The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we access health care, and dental care is no exception.

Dentists are no longer allowed to provide a raft of care, such as regular check-ups and tooth whitening, to minimise the spread of COVID-19. However, if you’re in a lot of pain, your dentist will be able to treat you.

Here’s how the coronavirus is changing the way we look after our teeth.




Read more:
How often should I get my teeth cleaned?


Why are these restrictions in place?

When dentists work on your teeth, they can produce aerosols – droplets or sprays of saliva or blood – in the air.

This happens routinely when your dentist uses a drill or when scaling and polishing, for instance.

And dentists are used to following stringent infection control precautions under normal circumstances to lower the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, whether they are respiratory diseases or blood-borne.

These precautions help keep both patients and dentists safe because it assumes all patients may have an infection, despite the reality that most won’t.

But with the coronavirus pandemic, there is an increased risk of aerosols carrying the virus either directly infecting dental staff, or landing on surfaces, which staff or the next patient can touch.

This transmission may be possible even if you feel perfectly well, as not everyone with the virus has symptoms.

Who’s making these recommendations?

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee – the key decision-making committee for health emergencies – has recently recommended dentists only provide treatments that do not generate aerosols, or where generating aerosols is limited. And all routine examinations and treatments should be postponed.

This is based on level three restrictions, according to guidance from the Australian Dental Association.

Recommendations of what is and isn’t allowed may change over time.

What does it mean for me? Can I still get a filling?

What’s not allowed?

Non-essential dental care is now postponed. This includes routine check-ups and treatment where there is no pain, bleeding or swelling. So treatments such as whitening and most fillings will have to wait.

Other conditions or treatments that will need to be postponed include:

  • tooth extractions (without accompanied pain or swelling)

  • broken or chipped teeth

  • bleeding or sore gums

  • halitosis (bad breath)

  • loose teeth (that aren’t a choking hazard)

  • concerns about dentures

  • crowns and bridges

  • clicking/grating jaw joint

  • scale and polish

What is allowed?

Some patients will need urgent care for acute problems requiring treatments that produce aerosols. So such procedures have a risk of spreading COVID-19.

Permitted treatments are limited to:

  • tooth extractions or root canal treatment when someone is in acute pain caused by damage to, or death of the nerve in the tooth

  • where upper front teeth are significantly damaged, for example, in an accident (this is an instance where a filling could be provided)

  • management of ulcers or other problems with the lining of the gums and mouth

  • providing care for patients with complex medical conditions and where not treating may lead

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  • The novel coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. 
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The coronavirus pandemic is affecting people all over the world. In an attempt to keep coronavirus contained, many of us are being tasked with changing the way we live our lives. Working from home instead of in the office, taking classes online instead of in a classroom, and getting groceries delivered instead of heading to the store ourselves are just some of the changes people have been asked make over the past few weeks. 

We know that this is an overwhelming time for most. As a team of service journalists, we’re committed to helping you, our readers, by bringing you the most up-to-date, accurate information on how to prepare, how to adjust, what products you need, and more during this time. 

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