18 Apr Jonathan Cartu Reports: Samuel U. Rodgers dentists help stem ER overcrowding during
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While many dental offices have limited services or completely closed their doors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some offices are staying open for emergency cases, which helps keep patients out of emergency rooms.
“The last couple of weeks have been drastically different,” Dr. Amanda Whiting said. “Our daily production is probably less than 5% of what we normally do on any given day.”
Whiting is the dental director at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Her clinic has chosen to stay open for serious cases to alleviate some of the burden on local emergency rooms.
“We don’t want people going with dental pain to the ERs when there’s people potentially infected with COVID where they can then become infected themselves,” she said.
According to the American Dental Association, emergency rooms throughout the country have seen a dramatic increase in the number of patients seeking treatment from dental pain.
The number of ER visits for dental care doubled from 1.1 million in 2000 to 2.2 million in 2012. Most of the cases involve patients suffering from dental decay.
“We are doing everything we can to keep our patients safe and as healthy as possible,” Whiting said.
Patients experiencing dental emergencies are asked to call Samuel U. Rodgers before arrival and dentists are able to do some examinations through teledentistry.
Dental services are offered at four Samuel U. Rodgers locations, including the Downtown Campus along with the Cabot Westside, Clay County and Lafayette County clinics.
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