'Do not go see your dentist,' Ohio dental hygienist says

Ohio dental offices are allowed to reopen May 1, though one dental hygienist is urging nonemergency patients not to visit, citing a lack of personal protective equipment and safety concerns, according to radio station WOSU.

Kristin, a dental hygienist in Ohio, said dental tools spray bacteria from patients' mouths into the air. WOSU didn't use Kristin's last name because she said she was concerned about retaliation from her workplace. She also voiced concern over supply shortages, noting that many offices donated their PPE to hospitals.

Some dentists who donated to the stockpile in case of a patient surge at hospitals have asked for the supplies back, according to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. The governor said returning PPE is up to local emergency medical services.

Most dental offices will have sufficient PPE supply to reopen, according to Tom Paumier, DDS, former president of the Ohio Dental Association.

"Every individual will have to weigh their own risk tolerance as to what they feel is absolutely necessary for them to go back to work, and every employer will honor that," Dr. Paumier told WOSU.

Kristin said she will have to go back to work, but is considering sending her children to stay with a relative so she doesn't risk exposing them to COVID-19.

"Do not go see your dentist," Kristin said. "Don't come in. Be safe."

More articles on dental:
SmileDirectClub sues competitor Candid
12 states resuming dental procedures
Reopening dental practices needs a team approach, ADA president says

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