NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - These days, to see a patient in the halls of Midtown Manhattan Dental Arts and get into the chair for Dr. Gildo Corradi means the case is serious and cannot wait.
"We went on the average of seeing 30 patients a day down to seeing three or four a week," said Corradi.
Urgent tooth extractions with denture or implant placements get priority, reports CBS2's Dave Carlin.
"Currently we're not allowing any waiting room patients," said the doctor.
Patients get ushered all the way in with their temperatures taken by a dentist covered up head to toe.
"We're wearing masks, wear disposable gowns gloves," he said. "We try to limit the amount of operatory time to as little as we can."
He's also using extra COVID-19 precautions and pre-screenings over the phone.
"We ask them about their travel history, whether they've been exposed to anyone who's had coronavirus," said Corradi.
He knows that their offices will play catch-up with the majority of the patients' return. Until then, teledentistry becomes more important.
Discomfort in a tooth may get diagnosed over video chat and antibiotics will be tried. If that works, any in-person visit can get pushed back.
Some dentists are helping other health care workers handing out masks from their own office supplies.
"I walked by a few businesses and noticed that the employees weren't wearing masks and asked them why, and they said they can't get them," Corradi said. "I came to the office, I grabbed a few boxes and brought them over. I'm trying to do that on a regular basis."
Dentists are here for you in an emergency. If you don't have a regular one or the office you rely on is closed, you can use the New York County Dental Society's Find-A-Dentist search at nycdentalsociety.org/for-the-public/find-a-dentist, or use similar groups, to find out who's doing emergency procedures in your area.
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