Dentist offices see surge of appointments amid staffing shortages

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KPTV) – After two years of a pandemic, many people are looking to freshen up their smile with a teeth cleaning but dentist offices are having trouble keeping up with the demand.

Dr. Hai Pham is a pediatric dentist in Beaverton and he’s experiencing a surge of patients in his office. However, he said there’s another factor at play, dentist offices are short-staffed. The American Dental Association reports since the start of the pandemic, dentist offices have been struggling with staffing. Granted, the organization said there’s been a push to hire more but staffing problems were exasperated over the last two years. Doctor Pham said his employees are feeling the stress from high demand and low supply.

“I won’t lie, we’re definitely getting burnt out and feeling that pressure of needing more help,” Dr. Pham said.

Dr. Pham said on average patients are waiting four to six weeks for an appointment. FOX 12 has heard from some in the public they’re waiting longer. There’s also a risk of appointments being canceled because of a Dental Assistant or Dental Hygienist calling out sick. Under guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority, dentist offices and all medical facilities are still following strict COVID-19 guidelines. So even if someone in the dentist’s office has the sniffles, they must go through a COVID-19 screening before returning to work.

Source: Dentist offices see surge of appointments amid staffing shortages / FOX12 Oregon

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