Some dentists say they’re struggling to find PPE for reopening

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Dental offices are now allowed to open up for non-emergency work, but some dentists say they’re struggling to find enough PPE.

Under the new state guidelines, dentists are expected to change gowns and N-95 masks between patients. We spoke with some dentists who donated much of their stockpile to hospitals when the state was first shut down and now they’re struggling to find enough for their practice. 

Governor Ned Lamont said the state has plenty of it, but Hamden’s Dr. Aaron Gross said dentist offices are fourth in priority for the state’s supply of PPE.

They fall behind places like hospitals and nursing homes. Gross told News 8 they’re going to great lengths to make sure parents stay safe like implementing new air filtration systems and staggering patient times. However, it’s frustrating he can’t get his hands on enough PPE. 

At this point, he feels fortunate they made the decision not the reopen until June to work on their supply.

“I don’t know how any dentist right now can legitimately open their practices,” said Gross, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry of Connecticut. “If they have the PPE than that’s great. I’m glad they do, and I hope they do, but most of my colleagues that I talk to, nobody has what they need.”

Gross said the Connecticut Dental Association is also trying to help with PPE, but the state is recommending each office has two weeks worth stockpiled. He said that’s just not realistic right now. 

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