New Jersey dentist suspended after 1 patient dies and 14 others suffer heart infections

RAYTOWN, MO (KCTV) -- Some jobs just can't operate more than 6 feet away from another person. One good example is your dentist’s office.

There are still clinics seeing patients, but COVID-19 is making for empty waiting rooms.

Take Dr. Tim Goodheart's clinic in Raytown where it's been a quiet week.

“It's been a lot of busy work and a lot of administrative work,” Dr. Goodheart said.

CDC guidelines for dentists have encouraged clinics to limit visitors to urgent care and emergencies only.

“We're still seeing people for aches and pains, but keeping it very limited,” Goodheart said.

However, if you do need to get a tooth checked out Goodheart said the dentist is one of the safest cleanest places you can be.

“Dentistry has always been the major (face) traffic area,” he said. “There's a lot of bugs. We take that seriously all the time.”

Next door to Goodheart's office is Creative Dental Arts. Their lab has stayed busy creating implants for patients all over the region.

Jim Kidd manages the lab. He said that as long as they keep getting orders. They'll keep making crowns.

“This is uncharted territory for the whole dental industry,” he said. “It's essential that people can still see their dentist to get the work they need so they can have proper nutrition.”

Good hygiene might be more important than ever in the coming weeks. That includes good dental hygiene and access to care in an emergency.

“What we don't want is people going to the emergency room with a tooth problem,” Goodheart said. “We don't want those folks clogging up the emergency room.”

It's difficult for health professionals who have had to scale back. Some offices have had to furlough workers.

“We just have to manage this day by day,” Goodheart said. “It's a fluid situation.”

Until things get better, dentists stress good brushing and flossing to avoid an emergency.

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