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Altamonte Springs Dentist Dr. Brett Zak Says It Could Take Months to Catch up with Backlog of Patients

Photo: Superkitina
Photo: Superkitina

Dental offices opened up again this past week under Governor Ron DeSantis’ phase one recovery plan. 

90.7 WMFE spoke with Dr. Brett Zak of Distinctive Dentistry in Altamonte Springs about the backlog of patients and what they are doing to keep patients and staff safe. 

Here are some excerpts from our conversation.

On the backlog of patients that's built up since the start of the pandemic. 

"It is a changing, evolving plan specifically when you factor in some of the other precautions we're taking such as seeing fewer patients a day. So, we don't expect to catch up with the backlog probably for several months honestly."

On the safeguards offices are putting in place to protect patients and staff.

"We installed UV light sterilizers in our central air conditioner units. We've installed seven ground air purification systems throughout the office. And those are some things a patient can see when they walk in. It makes them feel a little safer when they see those tangible items."

On the PPE shortage and how dentists are sharing face shields and masks.

"I will say that there have been some items that have been more difficult to get than others. But we are blessed at least in our Central Florida community. I have for the most part on standby about twelve to fifteen different dentists on a big text chain and we're sharing our supplies."

On the long-term effects of putting off dental care even if it's just a cleaning.

"You have patients that come in with heart disease, with diabetes. There's such a strong link between the health of the mouth and then the overall body's health. If you have periodontal bacteria in the blood that can lead to overall body issues."

If you'd like to listen to the full conversation, click on the clip above.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.