Dentists will begin seeing patients for time-sensitive procedures

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- For the last month, dentists could only see patients for emergency procedures.

Starting Monday, they’ll also be able to see patients for time-sensitive procedures.

“Procedures that are performed strictly for cosmetics are not time-sensitive. Any dental procedure that is not addressing a disease process is not time-sensitive,” Dr. Ashley Price with Price and Associates Family Dentistry said.

Dr. Price is calling this Monday a “soft opening” for dentist offices across Louisiana.

“They’re just kind of opening up the range a little bit more about what procedures we can do,” she said.

She and other dentists will be able to see patients for emergency procedures as well as time-sensitive procedures, but exactly what a time-sensitive procedure is isn’t so clear.

“They are being very vague about which procedures, and it is based on what the clinician thinks is time sensitive,” she explained. “So it’s going to be dependent on what that person’s dentist thinks is time-sensitive.”

The Louisiana Department of Health says any condition that will likely worsen if postponed to an extent that the patient may be harmed is considered a time-sensitive procedure, but there’s no specific list of procedures that includes.

“I wish I could give that list of procedures because I’m like everyone else. I want to know what I can’t do, but they’re just being intentionally vague because they don’t want us to open up to full capacity right away. So I think we just have to be patient and do the best we can,” Dr. Price told News 10.

She says it’s still unclear when dentist offices will be able to give patients the go-ahead to schedule their normal, six-month routine checkups.

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