“Our new waiting room is the patients’ cars” – Dr. Gary Jones

We asked five dental professionals how Covid-19 has affected their businesses and what they predict will happen once the pandemic is over. Below, Dr. Gary Jones in the US, a country where the pandemic has had an enormous impact, looks back on a challenging summer. Yet, he remains positive about the future and reveals that nowadays he makes good use of his patients’ cars.

How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect your everyday work, Dr. Jones?

Initially we shut our office down except for true dental emergencies and I had a skeleton staff that assisted me. We also implemented CDC and ADA recommendations for patient care to reduce the transmission of the virus. This phase lasted 2.5 months.

What is your current situation like? Have you begun treating patients again? 

We started gradually working back to a full schedule on June 1, and the staff was split into “A” and “B” teams to better implement social distancing in the office. Now, we are back to full staff and have a very full schedule. Our new waiting room is the patients’ cars. We also screen staff and patients daily.  Everyone wears masks all the time, but patients remove them during the treatment, of course. We have also added an additional layer of protection for the staff and patients by adding UV technology to our HVAC system and we are monitoring air quality.

What has been the most profound change to your daily business due to Covid-19?

I would say that it has been maintaining vigilance when it comes to CDC guidelines and implementation of the new protective measures. There is a general feeling of frustration as the weeks have turned into months. A lot of time is spent on keeping office morale elevated and reducing fears of disease transmission.

Do you think Covid-19 will have a lasting effect on implant dentistry? If so, how?

I think Covid-19 will have a lasting effect on our daily lives for years to come. When it comes to implant dentistry, I have seen no changes. Patients are motivated to get their teeth replaced.  Enjoying favorite foods and having an esthetic smile – even behind a mask – are pleasures our patients will not do without!

What are your general thoughts on the future for the implant dentistry?

Dental implants are the best technology we have to replace teeth. Until a better one exists, implant dentistry will hold center stage in oral rehabilitation.

Read more about how other dental professionals are affected by and experience the pandemic:

“A good thing to emerge was the communication and sharing of ideas and information” – Dr. Martin Wanendeya in the UK

“We helped develop a network of offices treating Covid-19-infected patients in our area” – Dr. Mischa Krebs in Germany

“We have increased the protection protocols concerning all clinic staff and the admission of patients” – Dr. Fernando Rojas-Vizcaya in Spain

“We have increased investment in safety precautions” – Dr. Marco Degidi in Italy