freeimages.com/Pierre Drap

Local dentists are worried that a recent message from the World Health Organization is confusing patients.

On Aug. 3, the WHO recommended delaying nonessential dental care in areas where COVID-19 is actively spreading.

"We're concerned about it," said Dr. Eli Eliav, "because if patients will not go to routine checkups and they will only come for emergency treatments, their condition can get worse, and it can affect not only their oral health, but their overall health."

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

The Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester has opened a new clinic designed to serve people with disabilities and complex health issues. 

Wayne Lipschitz, who recently started a new job as the clinic’s director, said typical dentists’ offices are not designed for people with disabilities, and dentists themselves often are not trained to treat them.

That results in people staying away from the dentist and postponing or avoiding an important part of their health care, Lipschitz said.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

A new dental clinic is under development at the University of Rochester Medical Center. It’s designed to support people who might have a hard time getting service in most other dentists’ offices.

“The support comes in two parts,” said Dr. Eli Eliav, director of URMC’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health. “Equipment and staff.”