You won’t be getting that teeth cleaning in the foreseeable future.

In an effort to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), Governor Kate Brown directed all Oregon hospitals, outpatient clinics, and health care providers, including veterinarians and dentists, to cease all non-emergency procedures. These restrictions were made in hopes to save surgical masks, gowns, and gloves, for health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.

“It is critical that we preserve every piece of personal protective equipment we have in Oregon so that our health care workers can keep themselves safe while treating COVID-19 patients,” said Governor Brown. “If we do not take immediate action, the surge in demand in our hospitals for masks, gowns, and gloves will quickly outstrip the limited supplies they have available. We cannot let that happen. I want to thank the health care providers––including dentists, veterinarians, and others––who have already preserved and donated their critical supplies.”

This has impacted many professionals in the Tillamook community.

“Obviously, the financial impact of this executive order is massive,” Dr. Cyrus Javadi of Sand Creek Dental in Tillamook wrote on their Facebook page. “As a result, our office has had to temporarily lay off 16 of the most amazing people I know. They love their patients, and they love what they do. Please offer them your support when you see them. I believe in our amazing community, and we will support our medical partners during this time…”

Javadi cited that the executive order prevents dentists from providing routine dental care until June 15, but are still allowed to provide emergency care.

Bizeau Family Dentistry had opted to close prior to Gov. Brown’s executive order, but were surprised at the length of the closure.

“The goal is to get as many supplies as we can to the hospitals that are running or may run low.” Dr. Gabe Bizeau wrote on their Facebook page. “We never imagined that we would be closed for an entire three months. As you can imagine, having dental offices shut down for three months will have a dramatic impact on our team and our community. I would urge you all to do your part to keep our community safe and support those in need around us. To those healthcare workers that are on the frontlines of this, thank you!”

Oregon State Senator Betsy Johnson has brought her concerns over dental closures to the state level.

“I have heard the dentists loud and clear….I am incredibly sympathetic to the plight of dentists who have been closed down to elective procedure given the paucity of PPE,” Johnson said. “Dentists don’t want to let go of their teams of highly-trained, trusted dental hygienists and dental assistants and others in their offices. I just want the dentists to know that I have lifted their situation to the Governor’s office and have made the case that these highly-trained medical professionals that we are putting out of work…by virtue of being ill-prepared at the state level with an inadequate supply of PPE.”

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