The biggest threat to practices: 2 dentists weigh in

Two dentists shared the current biggest threats to their dental practices with Becker's.

Catalina Atienza, DMD, a dentist in Portland, Maine: It has been very challenging in the past eight months for our office. Initially, we were just seeing emergency patients when we opened. Our overhead was way higher due to the [personal protective equipment] and additional air-controlled equipment (Medevac System). We have our windows opened and the air conditioning on. We also had to hire an additional employee to check in patients for a COVID screening. We changed our lab coats/scrubs in between patients and also had to stagger our schedule. With our PPE, it looks like we are ready to blast off like an astronaut every day.

The patients also are more reluctant to come due to safety concerns. There are also some last-minute cancellations due to their kids/friends being exposed to the virus. On the other hand, some patients are very appreciative that we are open. To be honest, we are at the most risk of getting the virus of any medical professionals.

Bill Risk, DDS, a dentist in Lafayette, Ind.: The biggest problem in my practice is maintaining the dental hygiene side of things. I have been unable to hire a hygienist to replace the woman who retired because of her health and the virus.

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