EL PASO, Texas (CBS4) — For over a year people have been covering their mouths with a mask.
For many El Paso locations face coverings have been mandatory during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As more places begin to loosen COVID-19 restrictions and no longer require masks, more people are heading to the dentist.
“We continue to sanitize all parts of the office to keep our employees and our patients safe,” El Paso Periodontist Dr. Fredrick Pirk said.
Face masks are optional for patients at Pirk's office in west El Paso.
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The staff said during the pandemic, many people were putting off appointments, which could be dangerous and costly.
Dr. Pirk said he believes dentists are seeing an uptick in patients coming through the door because they are more comfortable going out in public.
“I’ve seen an avalanche of emergencies. People have been staying away for some significant period of time. More and more people are coming in now. It’s amazing that roughly 92 percent of our patients, an empirical number, are fully vaccinated,” Pirk said.
With masks slowly being eliminated by some people, staff at Dr. Pirk's office said the need to get dental procedures done is at an all-time high.
Pirk said that putting off procedures like cracked teeth could cause an infection to get down into the gums which would be a more costly and painful problem in the future for the patient.
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