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Keeping dentistry safe for patients and staff during pandemic

UCO Media Group

Just as many people are fearful of a trip to the hospital or their doctor’s office during the coronavirus pandemic, area dentists are also hearing from patients worried about making a trip to get some care for their teeth.

Dr. Antonio Calascibetta said his practice -- which opened in November, just weeks before the outbreak -- is open for emergency dental care for people in pain or acute distress.

He said he’s aware of patients’ concerns.

“In a dental office, if the appropriate precautions are not taken, the virus and aerosols can stay lingering in the air for hours at a time,” he said.

Calascibetta said appropriate precautions must be taken to keep everyone safe.

“There’s the risk that the doctor and the team have in treating the patient that might be asymptomatic,” he said. “And for future patients coming in through the day, if aerosols are left floating around in the air, (there’s) the possibility of spreading the disease in that manner.”

Calascibetta credited an air purification system installed at his office as a way to eliminate those aerosols.

He said they are also following surgical-level sanitization procedures and safe distancing protocols aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and American Dental Association’s COVID-19 guidelines.