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UNLV School of Dental Medicine reopens

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 20:55:27-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — UNLV School of Dental Medicine has reopened its clinics to all patients of record on June 29, and will resume seeing new patients during the fall.

Appointments can be made by calling 702-774-2400. The reopening will enable patients within all of the UNLV Dental Medicine Clinics to resume in-process treatment plans that were placed on hold by state and federal mandates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Dr. Marcia Mastracci Ditmyer, associate dean for education, licensed dentists have been screening and treating patients in UNLV Dental Medicine’s emergency areas since March 23, providing care to more than 1,100 patients—some with medically urgent needs such as persistent bleeding, swelling, or infection.

The efforts helped reduce the need for visits to hospital emergency rooms. She said the clinics’ students, residents, staff, and faculty are eager and prepared to see more patients.

“During the past 14 weeks, we have been diligently readying our clinics so we can continue patient care in an environment that is safe and healthy for everyone,” Dr. Ditmyer said.

“We are grateful that so many in our community come to the UNLV Dental Medicine clinics for their dental and oral healthcare, and appreciate their contribution in helping our student doctors and resident doctors learn to become the next generation of general dentist and dental specialists.”

Dr. Ditmyer identified a number of changes patients will notice when they arrive for their appointments.

· The new check-in process includes staff members taking patients’ temperatures and asking COVID-19 screening questions. Those who are not feeling well, or do not meet the screening criteria, will have their appointments rescheduled.

· Patients will also be asked to wear a face mask and follow social distancing guidelines while in the building.

· Each day, student dentists, residents, staff, and faculty have their temperatures taken, answer the COVID-19 screening questionnaire, wear face masks, and will display a colored band to show they successfully completed the screening process.

· Student dentists, residents, staff, and faculty in treatment areas will be wearing surgical caps, face shields, and shoe coverings in addition to the usual personal protective equipment of masks, gloves, gowns, and safety glasses.
· Commonly touched surfaces such as doors handles, hand rails, and elevator buttons, are sanitized every hour.

“In certain clinic areas, we added glass partitions and air purification machines to reduce droplets in the air, and we will provide care in every other treatment chair,” Dr. Ditmyer said.

“These new procedures and equipment are designed to ensure everyone’s protection.

“Also, the large parking lot east of the school is currently under construction and should be completed by early July. Our staff members will advise patients where to park and where to enter the buildings when they confirm appointments.”

Additional details can be found at the school’s website, www.unlv.edu/dental.