New Jersey's 7,000 dentists urged to volunteer at hospitals, health systems

Rutgers School of Dental Medicine Dean Cecile Feldman, DMD, is urging dentists to volunteer at healthcare facilities across New Jersey in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, she wrote in The Star-Ledger.

There are more than 7,000 licensed dentists in the state, many of whom have completed hospital-based residency programs. Dr. Feldman says many dentists in the state are also accustomed to using personal protective equipment.

"At the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, where I am dean, our faculty and student providers are trained to treat patients holistically, which includes screening for conditions that are high-risk for COVID-19: diabetes, heart disease, HIV and other factors. Treatment is tailored to their needs. We also provide special care to geriatric patients, another high-risk group," she said in the op-ed.

Currently, most dentists in New Jersey are following the American Dental Association guidelines and only offering emergency dental care. By volunteering a few days a week, dentists would still be able to provide emergency care, Dr. Feldman said.

"Dentists are among the many healthcare professionals donating PPE to fill a dire shortage, including those from Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. But we can do more. As of Feb. 26, half of those exposed to COVID-19 cases were healthcare workers. That number will continue to grow, especially now that the shortage of protective gear has increased their risk of exposure," she wrote.

More articles on dental:
Western Dental closes majority of offices amid COVID-19 outbreak
North Carolina dentist loses license for incompetent care of 19 patients
Dentists sign petition to work in hospitals during COVID-19 outbreak

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