| MetroWest Daily News
ASHLAND – More than nine months into the coronavirus pandemic, many local businesses are still struggling to get by. But for Dr. Sandra Cove, who owns a dental office at 37 Main St., business has been great.
“People are knocking the door down,” she said.
The anxiety of the pandemic is weighing down on many. And that is often reflected on oral health, Cove said.
It’s not uncommon for Cove to see people around the holidays come in with problems, given the stress during this time of year. She is seeing patients with major dental issues at a rate she has never seen in her career.
From cavities and inflamed gums to chipped and infected teeth, the issues are various.
“We have this phenomenon in dentistry. Whenever people are under a lot of stress, a lot crazy things happen – a lot of root canals and broken teeth,” she said. “A lot of this stuff happens around Christmas time and Thanksgiving and it only lasts for a week or two, but this going on for six months, where every day, I must have two or three broken teeth due to stress or people gums are completely on fire because they are overreacting to the bacteria because their defenses are down.”
Dr. MaryJane Hanlon, president of the Massachusetts Dental Society, said she isn’t surprised by number of patients Cove has seen with new and serious dental problems.
“Sandra, I know, is very busy, and many practices are busy,” she said. “Some practices never slowed down. They saw a lot of emergency care. … The bottom line is that we are seeing a breakdown because people were very concerned about going to the dentist. ”
While some dental offices are doing well, others have been hit hard.
Hanlon is the dean of operations at Tufts University and manages all of the school’s clinical operations. Unlike Cove, she said she has seen a decline in the number of people visiting the clinic. Before the pandemic, the college would see around 600 people a day. Now they are seeing half of that.
In June, the association conducted a survey to better understand how dental offices in the state were faring during the pandemic. The survey was taken by more than 400 dental practice owners.
More than half of responders said they expect it to take between seven months to over a year to get the number of patients they had before the pandemic hit.
Nearly 90% of dental practices are spending between $8 – $29 or greater per patient on personal protective equipment, according to survey.
Moreover, more than half or respondents said the pandemic has cost their practice $225,000 in office upgrades and loss in patients.
Cove said she thinks a big reason why people are coming to her office is because they feel reassured that the appropriate measures are in place to keep them safe from the coronavirus.
After the start of pandemic in March, Cove
- The U.S. is reporting an “extremely high and quite unacceptable” daily number of new coronavirus cases ahead of the winter season, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview that aired Friday.
- The country is still facing its original wave of coronavirus infections that “just resurges up, comes down a little, and resurges up again,” he said.
- Unlike previous outbreaks the nation has faced so far, the most recent surge appears to be spreading in nearly every corner of the country.
The U.S. is reporting an “extremely high and quite unacceptable” daily number of Covid-19 cases ahead of the winter season when people will be spending more time indoors and threatening to spread the virus even more, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
The U.S. reported a record-breaking 88,521 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, continuing its upward climb on what’s now the pandemic’s third peak. Although some have referred to the latest surge in cases as a “third wave,” Fauci said the country is still grappling with its original wave of coronavirus infections.
As the outbreak that originally ripped through New York and the Northeast began to decline in the spring, America’s Sun Belt states began reporting swelling outbreaks and infections rose again over the summer, Fauci told SiriusXM’s “Doctor Radio Reports” in an interview that aired Friday. The country was never able to report below 20,000 daily Covid-19 cases on average like other parts of the globe, Fauci said.
“We never got out of the real wave. We kind of went up and down within a wave,” Fauci said. “When I hear people talk about second and third waves, it really is the original wave that just resurges up, comes down a little, and resurges up again.”
Unlike previous outbreaks the nation has faced so far, the most recent surge appears to be spreading in nearly every corner of the country. Covid-19 cases were growing by 5% or more in 45 states over the week as of Thursday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The positivity rate, or the percentage of tests that are positive, is increasing in over 30 states, and roughly 13 states are in the “red zone,” which means they have a positivity rate above 10%, Fauci said. A high positivity rate is a sign that “there’s more infection out there that we’re not turning over,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, told CNBC on Friday.
“That’s something that you wish you did not have as you enter into the colder months because out of necessity, a lot more things are going to have to be done indoors because of the weather,” Fauci said.
On Friday, the U.S. surpassed 9 million total Covid-19 cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic, adding an additional 1 million cases since mid-October alone, according to