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UNLV dental clinics reopen for existing patients

Updated June 29, 2020 - 11:22 am

The UNLV School of Dental Medicine reopened its clinics Monday to existing patients but will not see new patients until fall.

Since March 23, clinics have been closed for nonemergency visits because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the school said in a news release.

Despite the closure, dentists screened and treated more than 1,100 patients with urgent needs, including persistent bleeding, swelling or infection. The school says that helped reduce the need for patients to seek treatment in hospital emergency rooms.

“During the past 14 weeks, we have been diligently readying our clinics so we can continue patient care in an environment that is safe and healthy for everyone,” Associate Dean for Education Marcia Mastracci Ditmyer said in the release.

Clinics are implementing a new check-in process for patients, including taking temperatures and asking COVID-19 screening questions. Appointments will be rescheduled if patients aren’t feeling well or otherwise don’t meet criteria.

Patients will be asked to wear face masks — except during dental work — and follow social distancing guidelines, the school said.

Employees and student dentists also will have their temperatures taken and answer screening questions daily. They’ll wear surgical caps, face shields and shoe coverings in addition to the usual personal protective equipment of masks, gloves, gowns and safety glasses.

Frequently touched surfaces at the clinics — including door handles, hand rails and elevator buttons — will be sanitized every hour. Some clinics will have glass partitions and air purification machines, and treatment will be provided in every other chair, UNLV said.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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