The pandemic has changed everything including dentistry. Though I am retired and miss the profession that I love, I would still want to open an office, but don't tell my wife. I feel bad about dentists having the burden of the extra costs and stresses from the pandemic. Covid fatigue strikes all of us because we must follow guidelines that even as a retired dentist who wore the mask, face shield and gloves for thirty years I am tired of it too. You would think that I am used to this, but I too am tired of the guidelines, but we have to follow them for the safety of us and others. If I were practicing I would have to abide by the guidelines and do my job as best I can. As if the stress of dentistry were not enough in pre-pandemic times, we would just have to deal with it to practice the dentistry that we love. Of course it is difficult, but there are many other things that are difficult in life.
Perhaps, shorter visits would be better to reduce patient contact to reduce the aerosol production and subsequent cleanup. We must realize that patients also are stressed out and are afraid of the dental office and contact with other patients and staff. And yes they may be angry that they have to be there, but we have to be even more understanding, that even in normal times some patients are apprehensive about visiting the dentist. I wish I had a penny for every patient who said "nothing personal doc, but I don't like dentists." Of course I understand. And we must continue to understand and enjoy our wonderful profession as best we can. And remember that just around the corner is a vaccine that will once again give us normal times to enjoy this great profession.
Dr. Anthony T. Tumolo
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