This article is part of Reopenings, a series about how businesses are operating during the pandemic.
Fillings, extractions, and cleanings are no longer relics of the Before Times. Dental practices in more than half the United States are reopening for business. But as one of the professions most susceptible to an illness that mainly spreads from one breather to the next, dentists have to rethink many of their practices in order to function during the coronavirus pandemic. Book an appointment now and you’ll immediately see the difference—if you can get one. “We’ve delayed treatments, which could lead to an emergency, so there’s a huge backlog of patients who need to be seen,” said Richard Nagy, a periodontist in Santa Barbara and the president of the California Dental Association. “Protocols will be different. Patients will be asked questions that they’ve never