How dentists are trying to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus
WINNIPEG -- Restrictions continue to be put in place in effort to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus, and on Tuesday the Manitoba Dental Association gave a statement urging dentists to take action to minimize the spread, though some dental centres have already taken the advice.
Dr. Dheeraj Mittal’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 go beyond keeping his hands clean.
"We are going to not see any non-emergency patients, and any patients that are booked, are being rescheduled," said Mittal, who owns Greenwoods Dental Centre.
Mittal said they will no longer be taking patients for things like fillings and non-essential root canals - any procedure that is considered non-emergency.
In a written statement to dental centres, the Manitoba Dental Association said:
"The Manitoba Dental Association (MDA) strongly recommends that all non-essential and elective dental services be suspended immediately after direct consultation with the CEO of Shared Health Manitoba, Chief Medical Officer of Manitoba Health and Manitoba's Chief Nursing Officer."
It goes on to say: "We need to protect the patients, communities and dental professionals."
Mittal said this is a step in the right direction.
“It's very important that this pandemic doesn't spread as rapidly as it's been spreading," he said.
Mittal said his dental centre will still be providing emergency treatment for things like toothaches and pain-related issues.
The province said all Manitobans have a role to play in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
"We need to keep focusing on our social distancing efforts now, if we want to reduce the impact of this virus in Manitoba," said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer.
Mittal said patients who had to reschedule have been understanding and some expected this would happen.
He said Greenwoods Dental Centre will continue to follow the advice of the Manitoba Dental Association.
He's not sure how long they'll restrict patients.
"Once the dental association puts their statement out in the first week of April, we'll make a decisions accordingly," he said.
The Manitoba Dental Association said it will revisit this recommendation as new information on the COVID-19 pandemic is released by public officials.