New Mexico dentist reopens practice after recovering from COVID-19

A Santa Fe, N.M.-based dental practice reopened after closing for nearly two weeks when the dentist contracted COVID-19, reports the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Jared French, DMD, said he saw one patient Sept. 14 and then went home after feeling an itch in his throat. He took a COVID-19 test and closed his practice two days later when it came back positive. While Dr. French was awaiting his test results, a dental hygienist saw patients.

A patient, assistant and dental hygienist who were at the office before it closed Sept. 16 all tested negative.

"It's a dicey situation. You have to open back up, but you want to protect people," Dr. French said. "I think the proof is in the pudding, as there was no transmission."

The New Mexico Environment Department said the practice was following COVID-19 safety guidelines and a further investigation wasn't warranted, according to Maddy Hayden, an agency spokesperson.

At least one patient thought the dentist should have closed sooner or alerted patients about the possible infection.

"If someone had told me he was sick and went to get tested, I would have changed my appointment," said Harriet Schreiner, who visited the office Sept. 16. "Nobody said anything to me about the doctor testing positive. I think that was negligent.”

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New dental startup raises $37M; investors say traditional dentistry 'outdated,' 'broken'
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