South Carolina dentist calls for clear mandates on practicing during pandemic

A South Carolina dentist said some dentists are still performing routine work and that he is worried a lack of mandated action could create a public health issue, according to WPDE.

"The CDC is making recommendations and the American Dental Association is making recommendations," said Walter Machowski, DMD, of Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based Grand Strand Family Dentistry and Esthetic. "These are strictly guidelines. These are not statutes or laws the practices must follow."

The ADA urges dentists to only see emergency patients. However, there are no national mandates that dentists can't see regular patients. Some states have mandated postponing nonemergency dental visits and procedures, but South Carolina is not among them.

Recommendations rather than rules are concerning, Dr. Machowski told WPDE, adding that dentists who still treat regular patients could risk spreading COVID-19.

"I feel they are putting the public at risk," the dentist said. "The governor is the only person during this time who can tell dental offices what they can and cannot do."

"The governor has been very clear that businesses that remain open should provide employees and patrons with [the] opportunity for suggested personal hygiene and proper social distancing," a spokesperson for South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said in response to the concerns. 

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