▶️ Dentists prepare for reopening after governor lifts procedure ban

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY

Carrie Charney, a New York native, has been quarantined in Bend since March.

Charney planned on visiting the dentist when she returns home. But now that the ban on non-urgent procedures in Oregon has been lifted, she may not have to put the visit off for much longer.

“Of course I would feel more comfortable with the dentist I’m used to at home, but it’s better than the pain,” Charney said. “So yes I will be more excited to make that appointment.”

For the last month, Dr. Blake Drew of Drew Family Dentistry hasn’t been able to perform non-urgent procedures, like cleanings.

According to the Governor’s order, when Drew re-opens, he’ll only be allowed half his normal patient-load. He expects to hear from lots of clients like Charney.

“We’ve had a lot of patients that were falling into that level of not-urgent care, but it was treatments that really needed to be done so things don’t progress,” said Drew. “So really it’s been more trying to figure out the prioritization of those patients to get them in.”

Although Drew Family Dentistry has enough personal protective equipment to re-open, what will be left three months down the road is questionable.

“We do feel comfortable that for at least the first two months we’ve got plenty of supply,” Drew said. “And we’re hoping that as things ramp up and the availability comes along, we’ll be able to supplement that as we move forward.”

Drew said if their PPE supply starts to run low, they’ll have to schedule patients accordingly.

“We need to be smart about it,” said Drew. “We need to manage the risks and realize that as much as we want things to be back to normal, it is going to be a day by day process.”

Non-urgent procedures can officially resume starting May 1.

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