This is why dentists are not ready to fully reopen in Ontario
TORONTO -- A dentist based in Burlington, Ont. says dental offices looking to reopen to the public Monday won’t offer non-essential services like cleaning, based on the latest information sent out by the regulatory college that oversees the doctors.
Dr. Michael Cohen, dentist and owner of Lakeside Family Dental, said all dentists in the province got an update from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) last Friday.
So in the meantime, Cohen said he hopes to open Monday and expects to do emergency and urgent care only, with the guidelines set out by the college which have not yet been released to the public.
The provincial government has tasked regulatory colleges that oversee dozens of health-care providers, like dentists to come up with guidelines on how to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement to CTV News Toronto, RCDSO said it learned about the move to allow reopening Tuesday night.
“We are in the process of amending our guidance and will release that as soon as possible,” said a spokesperson with RCDSO.
Dentist makes big changes ahead of planned reopening Monday
Cohen has gone to great lengths to prepare and reopen safely. He’s purchased new machines like medical filters for air purification and a UV towel warmer which can be used to disinfect masks.
The office has installed plexi-glass and new doors on examination rooms, stockpiled PPE and created a staff change-room.
Cohen also re-designed how patients will visit the office, everything from a virtual check-in via text to funnelling visitors out the back door to minimize contact. Patients will have their temperature checked before their appointment and will be required to wear a mask.
Beth Macdonell has her temperature checked as she arrives at the Lakeside Family Dental officer in Burlington.
“I’ve worked harder in the last three months not in dentistry, than I have in dentistry. And trust me I work hard in dentistry,” he told CTV News Toronto.
“We work in close proximity to the oral cavity. You do have all those droplets, you do have those pathogens that you’re going to be exposed to,” he said.
Cohen said he’s ready for any changes the college may require.
“I can open now for whatever they let us do,” he said.