Dentists in the Upper Cumberland are ready to re-open on Wednesday. They will be following guidelines and procedures put forth by the American Dental Association.
Cookeville Dentist, Dr. Jason Hintz said while his office like others has continued to provide emergency services, his staff will be in the office at 8am Wednesday working to reschedule all the postponed appointments.
“We are ready to open tomorrow,” Hintz said. “We were planning on opening last Thursday and then they had that last minute at four o’clock the day before.” Hintz said other offices are as well. “I’ve been talking to several other dentists in town, and it sounds like most dentists are ready to start in town,” Hintz said, “I think everybody pretty much will be opening tomorrow.”
Hintz said the waiting area will remain closed. All patients will sign in via phone call or text to the office. Once signed in, a provider will come to the car, check the patient temperature and ask screen questions. Once this is done, the patient will remain in the car until the room is ready for their appointment.
Hintz said all dentists are in the same position. “You know we’ve very behind. I know some dentists in town are working some days they would normally be off trying to work those patients in,” Hintz said, “We’re probably going to be working through our normal vacation week during the summer trying to make up some of those appointments.”
Hintz said some patients want the office to reschedule patients on the current schedule and replace their appointments with those that were missed because they were on the schedule first. “But for us to do that, that just keeps moving further, every month we have to keep rescheduling people, so everybody would be rescheduled,” Hintz said, “And it’d be roughly about two thousand patients for us to reschedule, so that’s not feasible for us right now.”
Hintz said the hygienists at Hintz And Oakley will be contacting patients individually to reschedule cleanings. For procedures, Hintz said, he and Dr. Oakley plan to begin rescheduling first, those patients who were in the midst of procedures like root canals, while continuing as their first priority to offer same-day appointments for those with active infections or dental pain.
Hintz said he and other Upper Cumberland dentists have been in constant communication with each other while this situation has developed.
Patients who have not been contacted by their dental offices to reschedule should reach out to their providers.