Local dentist disagrees with WHO, says routine checkups are safe

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A trip to the dentist’s office might not be everyone’s favorite place to go, but one area dentist says it’s one of the safest places right now. That notion is in direct contrast with the World Health Organization’s recommendations.

One local periodontist showed our team all the changes his office has made to try and keep people safe. He believes people should feel comfortable going to the dentist.

“Going to the dentist today is probably the safest thing you can do in your life,” explained Dr. R. Mark Lindman of Featherstone Periodontics.

This week, WHO suggested people avoid routine checks and other non-essential dental work because of COVID-19. However, Dr. Lindman disagrees.

“When there’s a guidance that’s intended to be worldwide, things that are going on in dentistry in another country oftentimes and generally do not meet the level of standards that we have in the US,” Dr. Lindman said.

Lindman’s office was closed for more than two months because of the pandemic. During that time, he made numerous changes designed to keep patients healthy, including improving the ventilation system, remodeling operating rooms to have hard floors instead of carpet, and stocking up on PPE.

“I feel very comfortable working in this environment on a daily basis, and our patients are protected to an even greater extent than I am,” Dr. Lindman added.

There’s also a hands-free front door, Plexiglass in the waiting room, and a special UV room used to clean PPE between patients.

“Every dentist that I know has gone to great lengths to try and make sure that they’re safe in the office, that their patients are safe, and that their staff are safe,” Dr. Lindman said.

Lindman says delaying dental treatment could lead to more widespread health problems.

“Problems that could’ve been fixed 3 months earlier were now much more difficult to fix. And it’s not just a matter of whether a person keeps a tooth or loses a tooth. A lot of times it is oral infections, it’s impacting them in other ways,” he explained.

Lindman says delaying dental treatment can have an impact on the whole body.

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