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We have all been told to wear masks or face coverings when we are around other people during the coronavirus pandemic, so it’s no surprise that working at a dental practice and looking at someone’s uncovered mouth can be uncomfortable.
“I do have to admit that the staff who came in were nervous and scared,” said Dr. Adam Schwartz, owner of Brandywine Dental Care in Northwest D.C. “Some of them are definitely still apprehensive and anxious because there is so much that is unknown.”
When the pandemic first hit, Schwartz was only allowed to be open for emergency appointments, such as tooth extractions or root canals. His team members were effectively unemployed as they only worked a few hours every week.
But now Schwartz is getting back to business and has once again been able to open for cleanings and other appointments for routine care.
“Personally I am feeling less nervous,” Schwartz said, noting that he has new health regulations he needs to follow.
Schwartz now has good-quality masks for his employees.
There is no waiting room anymore. When patients arrive, they have to let the office know and someone goes outside and meets with them.
All patients are required to have their temperature checked, and they need to fill out a health survey to answer personal questions.
“The questions are like ‘do you have any respiratory symptoms?’ ‘Have you been exposed to anybody who has had Covid?'” Schwartz explained.
But even though his patients do have to jump through extra hoops, they’re willing to do it to give their smile that extra shine they’ve been waiting for.
“We’ve actually seen a lot of patients with a lot of gum problems because they haven’t been able to get their teeth cleaned so I think a lot of people are going to be happy that we’re open,” said Schwartz.