How coronavirus has affected local dentists

Dr. Salina Suy of Zalatan Dental talks about how coronavirus severely affects dentists.

Posted: Apr 9, 2020 11:47 PM
Updated: Apr 10, 2020 11:46 AM

UTICA, N.Y. - All healthcare professionals have been drastically affected by the coronavirus, and that includes dentists.

Dr. Salina Suy of Zalatan Dental says that dentists are at a higher risk because of aerosols.

In dentistry, aerosols are tiny particles or droplets derived from blood, saliva, tooth debris or plaque that can remain in the air which can put dentists and other patients at a high risk of contracting the virus.

"In dentistry we generate a lot of aerosols when we work. So our profession, actually, is one of the most at-risk professions during this crisis. It really puts us at risk and were trying to mitigate the spread of it," says Suy. 

On March 20, Gov. Andrew Cuomo constituted only emergency dental procedures as essential. What consitutes a dental emergency? 

"The most evident dental emergency is trauma. So that's if you fall off your bike, break your teeth, something crazy happens. You definitely want to call in for that. For cases that swell up the patients whole face, or can pinch their air ways, these are true dental emergencies. We have to make sure we're taking care of patients who need that care," Suy said. 

What about patients that aren't experiencing severe symptoms?

Suy says, "Now we're recommending that all non-urgent care be postponed. For patients with mild pain, depending on how bad it is, go ahead and call your dentist. It doesn't hurt to call. That communication with your doctor is really important. Right now in my office, patients call,  you let us know what's going on, just like facetime. Everyone needs to brush, everyone needs to floss, so that we can prevent things from happening." 

Suy anticipates that until dentists have access to rapid coronavirus tests, regular check-ups may be delayed even longer once we get back to some normalcy because of the aerosols.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 397131

Reported Deaths: 32206
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City21696923190
Nassau420312186
Suffolk416421983
Westchester350431427
Rockland13648668
Orange10775484
Erie7475639
Dutchess4243152
Monroe3953273
Onondaga2949188
Albany2152121
Ulster183486
Oneida174298
Sullivan145648
Putnam133663
Niagara128488
Schenectady83437
Broome75358
Saratoga56617
Rensselaer56530
Columbia47537
Madison36317
Orleans28254
Ontario28033
Steuben27041
Warren26933
Greene26318
Fulton26124
Washington24614
Genesee2395
St. Lawrence2242
Oswego2063
Wayne1853
Tompkins1790
Herkimer1733
Chenango1505
Chemung1462
Tioga14624
Chautauqua1327
Livingston1328
Cattaraugus1276
Cayuga1202
Montgomery1194
Clinton1034
Wyoming975
Jefferson940
Delaware914
Otsego865
Seneca710
Allegany631
Schoharie590
Cortland510
Essex480
Yates486
Franklin330
Lewis310
Schuyler130
Hamilton60
Unassigned00
Utica
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 85°
Oneonta
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 81°
Herkimer
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 85°
Thendara
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 85°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
Menu 2 Go list of takeout dinners & fish fries
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left