Even in the best of times, most people try and put off seeing the dentist.
Thanks to the outbreak of coronavirus and social distancing measures, large numbers of dental appointments are being cancelled in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
The cancellations extend to dental practices across the country and include routine check-ups along with some surgical procedures.
Principal dentist at Manuka Dental Care, Dr Sireesha Nimmagadda, said there had been a dramatic drop in the past week in the number of patients in the normally busy clinic.
"Last week we had only two days' worth of patients," Dr Nimmagadda said.
"This week we're probably going to be seeing five patients or under."
The dentist said more than 50 per cent of cases seen at the clinic would be regular check ups.
Now, only emergency work or work for acute pain was being carried out at the practice.
Dr Nimmagadda said work had been under way for several weeks to prepare for such an eventuality.
"We saw this coming before the closures happened because we're in the health industry and we were aware of infection control and how the virus can spread," she said.
"We weren't hit as much until recently because we had already started telling people who had flu-like symptoms to reconsider, and then from late last week, all routine appointments had to be cancelled."
It's a similar situation seen at dentists across Canberra and the country, as the industry deals with the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Australian Dental Association on Friday implemented level three restrictions for dental clinics, limiting dentists to procedures that don't generate airborne particles and treating emergencies.
The restrictions have been backed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, which is made up of all state and territory chief health officers, along with the Australian chief medical officer.
Hygiene treatments have also been suspended.
Further restrictions could be enacted should the coronavirus situation worsen.
The highest restrictions, level five, would see no routine dental treatment provided and all acute concerns would be directed to the emergency departments.
Any treatment would have to have the express permission of public health authorities in a state or territory.
Australian Dental Association president Dr Carmelo Bonanno, who also practices at a Canberra clinic, said well-established infection control measures were already in place across Australian dental practices.
"The current measures mean that people can be handled in private practices and they're not going to attend the emergency department," Dr Bonanno said.
"Dental practices have stopped doing routine dentistry and the majority of them are closed and some are remaining open in terms of doing emergency care."
The president said most common orthodontic work, such as braces breaking off or wires digging into cheeks would be able to be carried out under the restrictions.
He said the measures in place were critical to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
"Irrespective of the situation, the responsibility is to contribute to managing these processes until the coronavirus issue is dealt with," he said.
"The mood of the industry is the same as the whole population, it's something that has impacted across the board and dental practices are like other small businesses that have been affected."
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