Coronavirus NC: Dentists scale back on work they'll do during COVID-19 crisis

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- There are some cases that would usually get you into a dentist's office right away, but that too is changing during the pandemic. Precautions are being put in place in light of the close proximity between doctor and patient

"COVID-19 has basically flipped us on our heads," said dentist Justin Russo.

The North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners issued new guidance Friday afternoon.

Russo said there are only a handful of procedures he will now perform.

"Broken or missing teeth, uncontrolled bleeding, swelling of your face," he explained.

A crown might be OK because it involves a broken tooth.

Russo said a root canal is off the table for him, as he's adhering to the guidance, and he would write a prescription instead.

"An antibiotic will get you out of pain for three weeks," he said.

Russo said he would do several things for those who did need to come into the office. That includes taking a patient's temperature to make sure they are well, perhaps using a face shield and/or air filters.

"What I would tell the general public is, if you're having a dental concern don't worry around the pain, don't go on Google ... call your provider. They should make themselves available," he said.

Russo is still meeting and treating virtually.

Especially right now, when so many folks are worried about finances, he's doing the work for free.

"We want to help our community at this time. We want to do our part," he said.
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