Frankenmuth dentists prepare for reopening on May 29 with new safety guidelines in place

FRANKENMUTH (WJRT) (05/21/2020) - The doors of Michigan's economy are slowly continuing to reopen.

Next up is the medical community, as the Governor fully lifts non-essential procedures on Friday, May 29. This gives dentists like Ken Groves and Amy Fender, owners of Churchgrove Dental Associates in Frankenmuth, a smiling sense of fulfillment.

"You just don't feel like you're even doing your job when you just tell somebody, 'We'll call you when we can do it,' and so when they call now, even though it's still a week off, we can at least say, 'We got it in the works,' and we'll have all of our prep work done, and the building will be ready. We'll be ready." Ken Groves said. He and his wife, Amy Fender, are both owners and dentists at Churchgrove Dental.

The couple has been waiting for this day to come. Over the past several weeks, they've stepped up their safety procedures for when patients and staff return.

"When you come in the door, you're not going to be sitting in the reception area. We're going to have somebody that's going to take your temperature, go through a checklist, and take you back to your room, where you will stay until we're ready for you. We have plenty of rooms there that are quite large. We can shut the door if you need more isolation," Fender said.

Patient flow will also look different with posted signs will direct patients to enter through one way and exit through another. The reception area will also look different, with glass between the patient and staff member

"The face shields are readily available, so we're going to have that. We can find the type 2 and type 3 masks. The N-95 masks are a little difficult to find, but we're going to do our best," Fender said.

Groves and Fender say they'll have a dress rehearsal next week for staff members to walk through the new protocol and then phase into it slowly. Remember, the restrictions are not fully lifted until May 29, so until then, you may want to watch what you eat.

"I highly recommend to not eat frozen Snicker bars and frozen cookies. Cut down on the nuts when dentists aren't available," Groves joked.

There is guidance from the CDC and Michigan Dental Association for those looking for more information on how to protect patients and staff members.

To find those guidelines, visit the "Related Links" section of this page.

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