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Don’t skip your check-up: Manitoba Dental Association assures appointments are safe amidst pandemic

Dentist in Manitoba wearing additional personal protective equipment which treating patients in 2020. Global News

With the COVID-19 test positivity rate high still in Manitoba, Winnipeggers are on the fence about whether they should be keeping up with their yearly dental appointments.

“I am actually due for an appointment, I think it’s been about a year since my last appointment,” said Winnipeg resident Josie Cosyns. “You know what I honestly feel like I have a bunch of appointments since COVID started that need to be addressed and I should probably get on that.”

Read more: Seven new COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba, including man in his 40s

The Manitoba Dental Association said it’s important for residents to stay up to date with their regular checkups to avoid any unnecessary complications down the road.

“There is virtually always a consequence anytime maintenance is postponed,” President of the Manitoba Dental Association, Dr. Marc Mollot said. “Less urgent issues become more urgent issues and eventually become emergencies. Simply stated many routine care issues become much worse and more difficult to manage when they’re postponed.”

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But the fear of contracting COVID-19 has some Winnipeggers questioning if they should keep their appointments, or wait it out for a few more months.

“It’s completely pandemic related, I usually go every six months, so I’m waiting till numbers decline or if I had a problem I would go,” resident Leslie Millar said. “I’m sure it’s pretty safe, but I can wait so I’m going to wait.”

The Manitoba Dental Association advises against postponing appointments, noting they have additional safety measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

“It’s enhanced use of PPE, screening, engineering control, workplace controls amongst others,” Dr. Mollot said. “So your dentist and their time will look a little different and function maybe slightly different than you were use to in the past, but we’ve been doing so since May and we’ve got our system pretty well organized now.”

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Winnipegger Kate Bouchard said she finally went in for her appointment last week and was pleasantly surprised by the process.

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“I hadn’t been in over a year and I had some family that had gone during COVID and said it was completely fine,” Bouchard said. “So figured it was time to book.”

The association said if you’re not feeling well on the day of your appointment, you should reschedule for another day.