Chicago DSO limits hours to 3 a week

To combat the spread of coronavirus, Chicago-based DecisionOne Dental Partners plans to open its practices for three hours a week.

As dentists have been instructed to limit dental appointments, DecisionOne Dental Partners created a list of services and procedures and has labeled  them as either emergency, essential or nonessential.

The dental service organization has asked its 31 affiliated practices to only provide emergency and essential dental care. “If essential services are not provided, more dental emergencies will develop and if dental offices are not open, patients will go to the hospital and we cannot put additional burdens on our healthcare system right now,” said DecisionOne CEO AJ Acierno, DDS.

DecisionOne has also told dentists and staff that they are not allowed to work if they show symptoms of COVID-19. Now, the DSO is asking the government to develop a task force that will create dental care guidelines.

“The truth is no one knows how long this pandemic will last and there will absolutely be people who have the coronavirus who need emergency dental care,” said Dr. Acierno. “They may be healthy otherwise but are highly contagious. How and where will dentists provide care to these people? How will we protect the safety of oral care providers? We can’t wait for this eventuality, we need a plan now.”

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