One thing there is no shortage of right now are opinions! So... on the debate of whether or not dentistry is "essential" I thought I would share mine.
I'm Katie, a dental hygienist who 100% supported the shutdown, social distanced, masked up and stayed home with the best of you.
I can and did make the argument that closing down everything for 14 days including dentistry made sense to "slow the spread" and "flatten the curve," giving hospitals time to gear up and gather supplies. It also made sense to give the experts time to figure out what we are dealing with and how we should best protect ourselves.
𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 60 𝙙𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙖𝙜𝙤! Thankfully we have amazing people working day and night trying to figure out how we cure and prevent this disease from spreading. Unfortunately this will take time. While they try to combat COVID-19, completely ignoring other potentially life threatening medical issues is NOT a good idea! This is my friend's son who spent two days in a hospital because of a dental infection that turned into cellulitis (look it up) it's not good. Thankfully after two days in the hospital, IV antibiotics and removing a tooth he'll be just fine. This infection could have resulted in death. It sounds dramatic but it's true.
Dental disease isn't a problem until it's a HUGE problem- ask anyone whos ever had a toothache. Delaying non emergency treatment can quickly lead to it becoming an emergency. This is why in life and especially dentistry ...PREVENTION and not delaying treatment is soooo important!! Please trust me 𝐈𝐭'𝐬 𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥! Your body doesn't care that we are fighting a pandemic, dental disease continues to progress, as does oral cancer, ALL cancer... heart disease... the list goes on and on. To my dental professional friends who are scared to go back to work right now-I totally understand. If you have valid reasons or just don't want to return (the list of things to be concerned about is long but does not include how well unemployment is paying) please, stay home. If you are a patient and you are scared to go into public/a dental office right now, don't do it. You CAN elect to wait- but the decision should be yours to make. Not the lack of accessibility to healthcare. We have to face this new reality together knowing we're all in different stages of the same game (the freaking worst game EVER!) If you are having dental pain or swelling please call your dentist, if your dentist isn't handling emergencies find an office that is. Stay Safe, Stay Heathy!