Dental offices open for emergencies only as essential businesses


Dental offices are open in order to keep people from needing emergency room care, where they might come into contact with COVID-19

(WKBN) – As an essential business, dentist offices are still open during the coronavirus pandemic. Governor DeWine’s initial mandate was to close dentistries for PPE, but now dentistries across the Valley are to remain open for emergencies only.

“They wanted us to take care of those emergencies because their biggest concern was they don’t want people ending up in emergency rooms. If you end up in an emergency room, you’re going to pick up COVID, even if you don’t have it,” said Dr. Rajiv Taneja, from Austin Square Dental Group in Austintown.

He says that his staff members remain committed to helping those who need treatment.

“I came this morning. I came two nights ago at like ten o’clock. That was my patient. Her face was swollen, so I put her on antibiotics, told her to wait for two days, bring her back and try to see what we can do,” Taneja said.

He says money is the least of his concerns because he understands that most patients can’t afford emergency visits during this pandemic.

“Money’s not everything. Yes, money buys you stuff. Money buys you food, but where God has brought me from, monetarily standpoint, it’s the least of my concern,” Taneja said.

Lori Fitzgerald is the President of the Corydon Palmer Dental Society.

She says her office is taking sanitary precautions even with emergencies.

“We have very strict guidelines we follow. We’re a very clean environment. We wear the masks, we wear the gloves, but we are very safe and strict with our infection control in dental offices,” Fitzgerald said.

She says if you have an emergency, there are many offices that you can call.

“They can call a local federally qualified health center. They can call Corydon Palmer Dental Society. We can direct them to a dentist,” Fitzgerald said. “They can go to St. Elizabeth Dental Clinic and see emergency care there.”

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