Important Information Regarding COVID-19

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread through the community, Beachwood Endodontic Specialists’ top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our patients, our staff, as well as the general public. In light of Governor DeWine’s latest COVID-19 recommendations, as well as those of the Ohio State Dental Board and the Ohio Dental Association’s executive committee, we are making changes to office operations to protect our patients and team. The general guideline is: “Continue to allow access to necessary and emergency dental services.”

We are continually taking precautionary measures to reduce the spread of germs and viruses by regularly wiping down public areas, trying to reduce aerosols and creating a schedule to reduce patient interactions that could result in an infection. Emergency treatment will be conducted as needed for patients who are experiencing dental pain and/or infection. All other patients are being asked to postpone appointments for at least 4 weeks, but to advise us if their situation changes. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding.

We will keep our dental office staffed, potentially for limited hours moving forward. We are experiencing a high level of calls and emails at this time so please leave us a message and we will reach out to you as soon as possible. We have a responsibility in the prevention and mitigation efforts during this outbreak. These operations will change as the situation continues to evolve. We will continue monitoring the recommendations of the CDC, ADA, ODA, ODH, and OSDB.

In recognition of ongoing news reports and the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus, we realize our patients have questions. As dedicated health care professionals, we want you to know that we remain as diligent as ever in protecting the health and safety of our patients and staff. Our practice strictly adheres to and exceeds the standards for infection control by wearing personal protective gear, using hospital-grade disinfectants, practicing the latest sterilization protocols, utilizing single-use disposable materials, and more. Every effort we have in place is to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. We want you to know that we are monitoring this situation very closely, and we will keep you updated regularly.

Symptoms of coronavirus are reported as flu-like, with varying degrees of severity. While we do not know everything about this virus to date, individuals who are elderly and/or immunocompromised appear to be the most at risk of a severe infection. To ensure your health and safety, and the health and safety of everyone at our practice, please reschedule your appointment if you or a member of your household has a cough, fever, and/or flu-like symptoms. In addition, please reschedule your appointment if you have traveled to any areas within the past 14 days that are at high risk for contracting the coronavirus.

We thank you in advance and extend our gratitude for your understanding and cooperation. Together, we can help keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office, and one of our staff members will be more than happy to assist you.

Please view and share our latest COVID-19 Symptom Comparison Chart with your friends and family.

For further information, including measures to keep yourself healthy, visit the following links:

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The following message was sent to governors and state health officials on behalf of AAE’s 8,000+ members:
To Governors and State Health Departments,
 
The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) urges your Department of Health to recognize endodontists as essential emergency health care providers for distribution of necessary N95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), for the following reasons: 
 
  1. Endodontists treat dental emergencies that become life-threatening if untreated; 
  2. Endodontists engage in emergency care in high aerosol environments; and 
  3. Endodontists mitigate the burden on medical and hospital emergency departments.
 
Endodontists treat dental emergencies that become life-threatening if untreated.
 
In 2007, a 12-year-old boy from Baltimore named Diamonte Driver made national news when he died because an untreated infected molar resulted in an abscess that spread to his brain. In 2011, a 24-year-old Cincinnati resident died of an untreated tooth infection. In 2017, a 26-year-old truck driver died of a tooth infection that had only been treated with pain medication. Unfortunately, these are not the only such cases.
 
The conditions that led to Diamonte’s and the others’ deaths are the very same emergency conditions that are treated effectively by endodontists in the dental practice. It is critical to understand that dental emergencies become life-threatening emergencies if they are not treated properly. 
 
Endodontists provide emergency care in high-aerosol environments.
 
Endodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with “the morphology, physiology and pathology of the human dental pulp and periradicular tissues,” specifically, the “treatment of diseases and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular regions.”1
 
Put simply, endodontists treat pulpal conditions often produced as a result of untreated decay, often exhibiting with abscessed pulp, and often experienced as severe pain. Endodontic treatment includes surgical and non-surgical therapies, both of which require the use of a high-speed drill. The drill creates aerosols that have been affirmed by the CDC as capable of transmitting the Coronavirus. These aerosols are necessary in emergency dental care, but require N95 masks for protection of the dentist and staff.
 
Endodontic care reduces the burden on emergency departments.
 
In 2016, there were 2.2 million emergency department visits for dental issues in the United States; that’s one every 14 seconds2. In 2009, the top two dental conditions that resulted in emergency department visits were dental decay (41.8%) and abscesses (37.4%); these are the conditions most effectively treated by endodontists.
 
Today, with the need for emergency departments to focus their limited resources on the COVID-19 pandemic, avoidable dentally-related emergency department visits are especially problematic. Dentists, especially endodontists, must serve as the first point of contact for dental emergencies if we are collectively going to minimize the burden on the limited capacity of emergency departments. Moreover, by helping patients with dental emergencies through telehealth or emergency office visits that respect social distance, these patients avoid becoming agents and recipients of transmission of the Coronavirus in emergency departments where social distance is a challenge.
 
For the reasons explained here, it is critical for ensuring the safety of patients and for protecting valuable emergency department resources and staff, that endodontists be included as essential emergency health care providers for distribution of necessary N95 masks and other PPE.
 
Sincerely,
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Keith V. Krell, D.D.S., M.A., M.S.
President, AAE
 

If you have any questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Katz or Dr. Bonar: