May 11, 2020
by Manor Haas, DDS, Cert. Endo.
It’s fair to say that day-to-day life and dentistry as we’ve known it have been turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Overnight, we went from normal, day-to-day dental care to a near medically induced coma with many, if not most, dental offices shutting their doors.
Even though these are fluid times, the common theme in dentistry has been to look only after our patients’ acute emergencies and to provide no elective treatments. So, for the foreseeable future, this is where dentistry will be. However, I don’t see this as meaning that we need to hide under a table or just watch Netflix all day and wait for normal (dental) life as we recently knew it, to come back. This should be a time to sharpen our pencils and learn more about many aspects of dentistry by means of webinars, literature and blogs. In this Oral Health edition, we cover many aspects of endodontics with great articles on everything from the use of CBCT, to disinfection, guided endo, obturation, endo access and endo emergencies with COVID considerations. We also have a great piece on mindfulness and work/life balance. How appropriate during these unusual times.
Furthermore, we should not feel alone while we are in government-directed isolation and away from our offices. I’ve personally seen many dental blogs, online forums, apps, video chats such as Zoom and traditional email groups very active with colleagues communicating with each other. My own dental class’s WhatsApp chat group has been on fire with activity. It’s been a pleasure to connect with classmates from all over Canada and chat about the good, the bad and the ugly that’s going on in dentistry. But also with a healthy sense of humour on life and true support for one another. No six feet of separation needed here.
On March 15, 2020 the New York Times published a piece on workers who face the greatest coronavirus risk. And guess who was at the top? Dentists! Great! Hence, if you are seeing emergency cases, be vigilant about your and your staff’s well-being and not just your patients’.
I personally had a fight with the virus. A fight that landed me in intensive care and on life support. But I made it through and am thrilled to be able to look forward at treating patients again. The day I got released from hospital I was already thinking ahead, knowing that life will move forward and we will once again do what we love to do and are so well trained for: caring for our dear patients.
So, don’t feel alone. Turn to colleagues for support or offer support, and make the most of this downtime to improve yourselves. This new way of life won’t last forever and we will make it through, coming out better and stronger.
About the Author
Dr. Haas is a certified specialist in endodontics and lectures internationally. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and is on staff at the University Of Toronto Faculty Of Dentistry and the Hospital for Sick Children. He maintains a fulltime private practice limited to endodontics and microsurgery in Toronto. Dr. Haas is a regular contributor to dental journals and online forums. He can be reached via the website: www.HaasEndoEducation.com
To view more COVID-19 news as it pertains to the dental profession, please click here.
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