MATTER OF TIME: Dentists try to help out patients with care before it’s too late.
MATTER OF TIME: Dentists try to help out patients with care before it’s too late.

DENTAL SHUTDOWN: Dentists fear future restrictions

A WARWICK dentist has said a total shutdown by the end of the week is imminent as coronavirus pandemic fallout intensifies.

Following yesterday’s announcement that all non-elective surgeries would be cancelled, business manager of Country Smiles Dental Services Sheridan Walker said it was only a matter of time before they too were forced to close doors.

“We’re all attempting keep up to date but everything changes every time a new announcement is made,” she said.

“I imagine by the end of the week, there will be a total shutdown of all services like in England and major US centres.”

As of March 25, the federal government classifies dentistry as an essential service as long as it provided safely, but the Australian Dental Association (ADA) has advised against aerosol generating procedures.

Ms Walker said staff were working around the clock to provide safe treatment before any mandates could be placed, following ADA and Australian Dental Prosthetists Association guidelines.

“All of our staff have been trained in COVID-19 infection control training. The poor guys have been working really hard to get on top of it,” she said.

“We’re hoping to get all our dentures finished within the next day or two and have been increasing services.”

While the practice had added procedures such as spacing out appointments and minimising reception contact, Ms Walker said many clients had chosen to cancel appointments amid health concerns.

“A lot of patients are choosing not to come in because the majority are in a high-risk age group,” she said.

“But we do believe we are offering an essential service.

“For those with denture breakages and those concerns, the impact is if we’re not open they can’t eat so for them we would like to remain open as long as possible.

“We here at Country Smiles are still attempting to smile, it’s just a bit more difficult now.”

The news comes as multiple Warwick dentistries limit dental treatment to emergency services only.



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