Dental Hygienist Scared To Return To Work

Kristin Diaz
May 01, 2020 - 12:40 pm
Dental instruments

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Governor Abbot has allowed clearance for Dentist offices to open Friday, May 1st. However, many area dental hygienists are saying they are terrified to go back to work due to the lack of guidelines in place and available PPE.  

Marian Tajchman is the President of the Texas Dental Hygienists' Association. She spoke with KRLD’s Kristin Diaz about the readiness of dental offices opening.

Marian says each dentist office is responsible of putting plans in place for reopening in accordance to the CDC and State’s guidelines. She says the main concern she is hearing from dental hygienist, with concerns of returning to work, is that there is not enough available personal protection equipment.

As we have seen so far during this pandemic, N95 masks, gloves and face shields have been sparse for even our hospitals and nursing homes.

She says homemade masks that many people are wearing while out and about are not sufficient in protecting them and will not work at all at a dental office.

The Texas Dental Board of Dental Examination has had emergency meetings with the Governor hoping to get some guidelines in place. So far, the first pitch was not approved.

With these hygienist looking for guidance, Marian says the only thing she can encourage them to do is to speak up against any negligence at their offices. She says that however is tough ask as many are worried to say anything in risk of losing their jobs.

Dallas Judge Clay Jenkins says he recognizes the risk dental hygienist are putting themselves in in order to serve those who are ready for cleanings and other procedures. However he encourages all Dallas residents to wait to make such appointments until we see at least a two week decline in COVID-19 cases.