The owner of the West Prince Dental Clinic is feeling good to be back at work despite the restrictions that have been put into place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s nice to see our patients again,” said Dr Robyn Ramsay. “It’s good to be back into a routine and schedule.”
Dental clinics were mandated to close to regular patients by the Chief Public Health Office back on March 17. Two emergency dental clinics were set up in the Charlottetown area for patients who needed emergency treatment.
“Just like everybody else, I was handling things over the phone, dealing with emergencies, patients calling for prescriptions and things like that,” said Dr Ramsay. “We had centralized clinics set up in Charlottetown through our dental association where we could physically refer somebody for some physical treatment if needed, but there was a lot of restrictions on what kind of treatment could be done at that time.”
As COVID-19 restrictions began to ease in the province, dental clinics were allowed to offer emergency procedures to treat pain, trauma or swelling. Then, when Phase Three of the Renew PEI, Together Plan started on June 1, their scope expanded again. Clinics were able to offer general dentistry with the return of dental hygienists on June 12. Dental clinics across PEI are following the recommendations setout by the Dental Association of PEI on how to adapt their practices in wake of the pandemic.
The West Prince Dental Clinic reopened on June 15, with patients needing to call ahead to book appointments, the building remaining closed to the public.
“The dental association has been working tirelessly this whole time to develop these protocols,” said Dr Ramsay. “There are many policies we’ve had to put in place in terms of the practice in what we can do and how we can do it safely to make sure everybody is protected.”
Dr Ramsay said the challenge of securing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is something felt across the country.
“We’ve been fortunate,” she said. “Our association has really worked together to try to make sure that everybody had access to the right PPE... We worked together to make sure we will prepared before offices were set to reopen.”
Dr Ramsay said patients have been understanding and are appreciative of the effort taken by Island dental clinics to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone.
“We’ve had some good feedback,” she said.