Priyanka Rathi, Principal Dentist, and Val Barton, owner, at PVB Dental.
Priyanka Rathi, Principal Dentist, and Val Barton, owner, at PVB Dental.

Dentist bounces back from restrictions better than ever

WORK is somewhat back to normal now for dentists as restrictions have lifted and they are able to carry out full procedures.

At the height of coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, restrictions resulted in dentists ceasing most appointments for around six weeks.

Bouncing back from the closure, North Rockhampton dentist PVB Dental is now recording more customers than it was pre-COVID.

Principal dentist Priyanka Rathi said during the levee three restrictions, the practice was only able to conduct emergency work, if the patient had swelling or was in pain.

Over this period, which was during April and half of May, they treated an average of five to six people a week.

This was explained on the business' website and people were understanding.

"Many patients were happy to not come and not leave the house at this time, they were very happy to reschedule appointments," she said.

Fast forward to October and Ms Rathi and practice owner Val Barton said they had seen a number of new patients.

They are also doing more appointments than normal for this time of year.

Ms Rathi believes the surge of patients could be due to the second wave hitting Melbourne.

"People are concerned and worried it's coming back all over the world, people want to get their work done before it is too late," she said.

"What if the second wave comes and we go under strict restrictions again, they just want to get it done and finished with."

While they have increased their hygiene and cleaning, Ms Rathi said the practice has always had a focus on cleanliness.

"COVID or no COVID, cleaning procedures and sterilisation guidelines are something we absolutely follow and that's a must, and everyone does that," she said.

"With regards to COVID, we do a screening of each and every patient when they enter and we have hand sanitiser in place."

From the business side, Ms Barton said it was going well.

The practice employs four dental assistants/receptionists and two dentists who are contracted.

During the restrictions, they did have one staff member on JobKeeper, which she said helped a lot.

For anyone who may be tight on money, PVB Dental does offer payment plans.

"That helps a lot and patients don't have to worry about paying right away," Ms Rathi said.

While finances are uncertain at the moment as many people have lost jobs, Ms Rathi isn't concerned it will flow through to them.

"If someone is in pain, they have to get it done, so they will come," Ms Rathi said.



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