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Dentist offices face financial strain from coronavirus

Dentists across the state are only taking emergency patients . It's the first day of guidelines from the Alabama dental association - saying offices should be closed to all non-emergency patients for the next three weeks.

Posted: Mar 19, 2020 9:13 PM

Starting Thursday, dentists across the state are only taking emergency patients.

It's the first day of guidelines from the Alabama dental association - saying offices should be closed to all non-emergency patients for the next three weeks.

WAAY 31 spoke to a dentist who says even though it may be bad for business, he knows it's the best way to protect everyone.

"The most important thing for me was to protect my girls - my staff and protect my patients," Dr. Davis Reed, a dentist, said.

It's the reason why Dr. Reed stopped taking patients on Monday - ahead of the guidelines. His office had a staff only cleaning day Tuesday before closing down.

Dr. Reed said the guidelines from the Alabama Dental Association asked dentists to only see emergency patients until April 10th.

"Infection, swelling, trauma, dental trauma," he said.

He and his staff will monitor their phones from home, and be ready in case there's a patient who needs them.

"Hopefully we don't have a lot of emergencies, but we're hear on call. i'm willing to come in whenever to help somebody," Dr. Reed said.

Dr. Reed said most dentists offices are privately owned. That means they operate like a small business, which means not being able to see patients for nearly a month will hurt their bottom line.

"A huge financial strain for us. if we're not producing or and doing procedures, we're not getting income and revenue to pay bills, pay our employees - that's the tough part," he said.

But, Dr. Reed is choosing to stay positive. H e said he's hoping this will die down soon. In the meantime, his team is already prepared for the day they can reopen their doors to patients

"I think it'll be a busy April which is good, we need it," he said.

To alleviate some of the stress during this time Dr. Reed said he will continue paying his staff for the next two weeks.

He said even though it may cause a little bit of a financial strain he wanted to make sure his employees were taken care of.

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Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13113219
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