After months of waiting, Dentists allowed to fully reopen

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — After months of waiting and being left out of all the state’s reopening phases, dentists are finally back at work.

At Little Jaws, Big Smiles in DeWitt, the schedule is already booked.

Dr. Tansy Scoonmaker has been desperately waiting to see her patients again.

“What the government is basically saying is that your ear infection is important, but your dental infection is not,” said Scoonmaker.

Dentists were only allowed to do emergency procedures to relive pain, but the cavity fillings and cleanings to prevent that pain was on hold. A policy that Scoonmaker believes hurt a six-year-old patient she saw last week.

“A tooth that was going to be a white filling, ended up being a root canal and a crown. A girl is now without a tooth, the father with a huge bill,” said Scoonmaker.

The State Health Department blamed the wait on figuring out how to work in people’s mouths safely. Finally, on Sunday the governor released his rules for the work to resume on Monday.

“We were ready to open a month ago,” said Scoonmaker.

The dental duo spent thousands on an air disinfection system and N-95 masks under regular masks under a shield and gowns over scrubs changed after each patient.

“Basically, the only thing you’ll see going to the dentist at some point, is this,” said Scoonmaker.

Through that, at least, she can finally see her patient’s teeth again.

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For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan.

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