Dentist During COVID-19

When do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? Or, when do the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many?

It seems to me we’ve been engaged in a nationwide experiment juxtaposing these two questions. Some of the decisions made for our protection do not seem much like protection.

A news report interviewed nurses who were the only people present for dying COVID-19 patients. I’m grateful for the nurses who held the hands of those patients as they gasped out their last breaths. But if those patient’s loved ones weren’t allowed to gather near, to support them or to say goodbye it seems a deep injustice has been done to them and their families.

During frightening times, we all need the hand of someone who loves us.

You and I, as average citizens, aren’t responsible for an entire society. For most of us it comes down to how it affects our individual families and us.

Recently a first-grade child needed outpatient dental surgery. His two front adult teeth pushed against his gum line. They were coming in crooked. His baby teeth had to be extracted.

The procedure was originally scheduled in March, but as with many things, the COVID-19 panic closed dental offices.

With the quarantine partially lifted, the dental office rescheduled his appointment. But there was one caveat since the office was still concerned about COVID-19. No family member was allowed to be in the room. No one—not even a parent—could hold the little boy’s hand while they administered the nitrous oxide.

Not only that, but the parent wasn’t even allowed into the front office. His mother had to check her child in at the front door and give his care into the hands of a total stranger.

The dental assistant led the boy back to the room. The terrified child screamed for his parents. His mother could hear him outside. He thrashed about and wouldn’t even let the dental team administer the medication.

Every day, that little boy breathed the same air his parents breathed. Every day, their family ate together at the dinner table. Every day, they shared the same home. But no matter.

Since they could not administer the nitrous oxide, they couldn’t do the outpatient surgery. Because of that, the child will have to undergo general anesthesia at a dental surgery facility in a different city. And all because they refused to allow his parent to hold his hand.

Now I ask you, where was the sense in that?

How would you feel about this situation if it was your child? How would you feel if it was your loved one who died without you present in the hospital? How would you feel if was your loved one languishing alone in a nursing home? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time,

© 2020 SuZan Klassen All Rights Reserved

4 thoughts on “Dentist During COVID-19

  1. I agree with you – what’s wrong with just one parent in the room? Our family cannot see Mom and we could not be with her during a surgery and painful rehab. It seems those in authority are making cruel decisions.

  2. My heart goes out to patients in a retirement home. As chaplain, I’m allowed in. One dear lady is legally blind. She can’t see which buttons to push to automatically dial her son. She shared this with me last week. I helped her feel which buttons to push. Delighted, she dialed him. I left as she happily chatted with him. This week she said she forgot how. Could I help her again. We went through the whole thing again. I can’t imagine not being able to see my loved one because of these ridiculous rules.

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