The number of coronavirus cases in North Alabama rises, and now, some industries are finding ways to cover the costs of personal protective equipment.
The American Dental Association is urging dental practices to implement a fee to help offset the new cost.
WAAY 31 spoke with a North Alabama dentist about how it'll affect your visits at the dentist office.
Now, when you go to some dental offices, you may be paying just a little bit more for your visit and it's only because they want to protect you but also protecting themselves for personal protection equipment.
"We want to give the best care in a comfortable, safe environment, and I can assure them they are walking into a safe, clean environment," said Dr. Sonya Wintzell.
Wintzell owns Dental Professionals on Whitesburg Drive in Huntsville. They've made several changes since coronavirus hit North Alabama.
In addition to closing for six weeks and limiting the number of people in the office, they're now charging an extra $15 per appointment to help pay for the rising costs of PPE.
"It doesn't cover everything, but it covers enough to help us," said Wintzell.
Wintzell told WAAY 31 they sent an email to all of their patients explaining the fee.
Under new regulations, dentists must switch out their PPE more often. That means the office has to buy more plastic to cover everything in the appointment room, more face shields for staff and more gowns for dentists.
Gowns alone are $10 each and must be changed after every patient, and with 50 people in the office, that's nearly $500 a day for just one type PPE.
Wintzell wants you to know the precautions guarantee everyone's safety, including yours.
"We're not just dealing with blood, but we're also dealing with aerosols with the saliva and that's where you'd be directly assaulted, through the aerosols for the whole appointment," she said.
We've reached out to Delta Dental and Blue Cross Blue Shield on if they'll cover the costs under insurance and we're waiting to hear back.
Wintzell told us several dental offices are filing them as insurance claims to let companies know they'd like to be covered.
"Dentists that are submitting this PPE codes, the insurance companies are hearing that and they're responding," she said.
Right now, she knows Delta Dental is looking into it and CIGNA already covers the fee.
Once the demand for the PPE goes down, Wintzel says she'll remove the charge. But for now, it's there to keep you and her staff free of any germs.
We also learned some dental offices may not charge the personal protection fee, but may just be increasing the amount of your service to help cover the costs.