At Dr. Todd Bertman’s office, the receptionist wears a plastic face shield. So do the hygienist and the nine doctors in the practice in Manhattan’s East Village.
Dr. Bertman reopened the office two weeks ago after closing it in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In another change from the past, he has switched from ultrasonic cleaners that spray water and saliva into the air to laser instruments.
The dentists and hygienists wear head-to-toe personal protective equipment that they change between appointments, a time-consuming, awkward ritual that requires them to take off booties, gowns, goggles, masks, gloves and the shields and replace them with clean ones.
“It’s like changing out of a spacesuit,” Dr. Bertman said. “It’s annoying as hell but this is what it kind of comes down to until we find a vaccine.”
As of June 19, every state had allowed dentists’ offices to reopen for all