California dental office remains open for emergencies, struggles to get protective masks

Dentists

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San Francisco-based 7X7 Oral Surgery Specialists is among the few dental practices in the area continuing to treat emergency patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to local CBS affiliate KPIX.

The practice is staying open to keep patients out of emergency rooms, but is struggling to get the N95 masks it needs to perform four to five emergency procedures a day.

"If we're not there to provide any type or treatment or assessment, then really the only option for these patients is to go to an emergency room," oral surgeon Eric Scharf, DDS, told KPIX. "And that's really the last place they want to be."

Dentists are among some of the higher-risk healthcare workers for COVID-19. A New York Times study found dental practitioners are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, as many procedures send germs in the mouth into the air.

There are talks about recruiting dentists and oral surgeons to support hospital ERs. If that happens, Dr. Scharf said he would be ready to assist.

More articles on dental:
ADA publishes COVID-19 resources page for dentists
What dentists need to know about Small Business Administration loans
Delta Dental creates $500K emergency fund for Midwest dental clinics

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