Here's what dentists have to say about practice shutdowns amid the outbreak

Below are statements from four dentists or dental organizations closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

1."As a general safety measure, we want to help decrease the spread of this disease and we are trying to do our part," Jason Vandehaar, DDS, a dentist at Madison, Wis.-based Total Care Dental, told WKOW 27. His team decided March 16 to cancel all patient appointments.

2."I don't want you to feel like dentist[s] are abandoning you, because we are not," Jeffrey Ottley, DMD, of Milton, Fla.-based Ottley Dental, told WEAR-TV. Dr. Ottley shut down the office to protect employees and patients alike, and is scheduled to reopen April 6.

3."This is kind of a shock to have to be making such drastic changes, but we're here to help and do whatever we need to do to help the community stay healthy," Zack Gregory, DMD, of Henderson, Ky.-based Audubon Dental, told WEHT. The clinic is open for patients with severe cases this week, before closing its doors indefinitely on March 23. Dr. Gregory said he will still meet with patients who need emergency services on a case-by-case basis.

4."By temporarily consolidating, we can support a potential surge in our hospital patients, meet the critical need to conserve personal protective equipment, guard against potential staffing shortages, and limit the exposure for members, employees and the community," Kaiser Permanente Northwest said in a statement to KGW 8. Eleven of its clinics, including one dental office, in the Portland, Ore., area will temporarily be closed starting March 19.

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