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  • Celeste Smith

Mississippi Dentists Prepare For Their Next Phase Of Reopening

Updated: May 11

Tonight, for those waiting to schedule their next visit to the dentist, dental offices in Mississippi are preparing for their next phase of reopening, which is set to begin next week.

Currently in Phase 2 of the Mississippi State Board Of Dental Examiners return to work guidelines, dentists have only been able to do emergency procedures, but beginning on May 11th Mississippi dentists will be allowed to perform non-essential services, only for low risk patients, such as new patients, patients being recalled and patients needing bridges and bandings on their teeth.

Local dentist, Dr. Marcia McQuarters with All About Smiles Dental Center in Meridian says that due to the new guidelines everyone in her office must take their temperature and meet certain health requirements in order to work, posing challenges.

“What if everybody, you know, except for me —don’t meet the criteria, then I’m here stuck by myself with maybe a lot of patients scheduled for that day, then I don’t have adequate staff coverage. Without staff the whole office couldn’t function properly and two we’re trying to help out the emergency room department to keep down people from entering the emergency room for dental services, but it just makes it hard, because there’s a shortage of PPE”, said Marcia McQuarters.

Along with these challenges Dr. McQuarters shared her concerns about entering the next phase for dental office reopening’s.

“The next phase, I feel like there’s going to be an access-to-care problem, because of the CDC guideline, the State Board of Dentists Guidelines—the practice of dentistry, I don’t feel like will ever be the same. We have to limit the number of patients who are in our office, so that entails less patients seen per day, they’re also requiring that no one is to sit in our lobbies and then we also wear face shields for all procedures”, Dr. McQuarters.

On May 18th, dental offices will be allowed to perform essential and non-essential services for all patient categories.

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