Dental clinics serve patients with new precautions in place
Governor Jim Justice allowed dental clinics to resume elective procedures in mid-May.
"We have been open the whole time for emergencies. But elective was May 11th and we opened on May 11," said Dr. Robert Martino, founder of Wilson Martino Dental.
His clinics opened elective procedures slowly, easing into the new guidelines released by the American Dental Association and the West Virginia Board of Dentistry.
The guidelines include everything from personal protective equipment to how far apart chairs in the waiting room should be.
"We really, at this time went above and beyond the guidelines and have taken an abundance of precautions," said Dr. Tammy Chipps is apart of WVU's COVID-19 Task Force.
They sorted through the thousands of pages of guidance prior to reopening. They took in guidance from the CDC, EPA and several other organizations.
"We read hours and hours and hours of documents to put everything together as far as what we wanted to implement here," said Dr. Chipps.
Visit a clinic and you might not notice too much of a difference in the PPE used. Dental staff having followed intense procedures for decades.
"Because all of the procedures and all of the things we are doing was to prevent bacteria and viruses in the first place. Back in the 80's and 90's we really switched around dentistry when we had an HIV scare at an office in Florida," said Dr. Martino.