Holt-based Dr. Susan Maples is an erudite dental surgeon, never pressing pause on gaining new knowledge that helps her treat everyone from well patients to those with deep-rooted issues.
In the face of COVID-19, one would assume patients might avoid the dentist’s office. After all, in such a setting the patient and team member are in extremely close proximity to each other in what Maples calls the “splash zone” with no possibility of the patient wearing a mask. However, as Maples explained, her practice as well as countless others are proof that dentistry can be safe during a pandemic.
“We’re very fortunate that throughout the history of this very novel virus, we’ve had zero contract tracings back to dental offices from patients, not even in Wuhan,” Maples said.
The field of dentistry applied extra safety measures so long ago, Maples explained, that adding the few extra levels of care wasn’t as difficult as it might have been for some other areas of the health care industry.
“That’s why we attribute such a low transmission rate even in areas where they never closed,” Maples said.
The extra precautions at Maples’ practice include the wearing of heavy-duty protective equipment, special rinses and vacuums, air purifiers near a patient’s head, and careful screening.
“I’ve been blessed that our patients have trusted us so much — knowing that as a total health dentist and with the research and colleagues I have around me, we’ve really surrounded this and done it well,” she said.
Maples’ primary interest has been to protect and keep her team healthy.
“If I can keep them healthy, there’s no question I’m keeping my patients healthy,” she said.
Now having been vaccinated, her team members can look forward to their own optimal health while caring for patients, and Maples can continue her quest to learn and grow.
“I’m going back to school to get a degree in functional integrative medicine in the Andrew Weil Integrative Medicine Program,” Maples said, eager to add to her knowledge base to help patients with a list of problems that may not have been addressed at the root cause.
“I use the mouth as the window to what’s going on,” Maples said. “I can watch the body heal, and the mouth is a really big indicator of how well we’re doing.”
By all indications, Maple’s practice is doing well enough because of a firm grasp on safety protocols and strong resolve to keep her team safe. And that’s a bright spot in what has been a rough year for many businesses.
Look for another online article with Dr. Susan Maples on the ties between oral health and heart health 517 Magazine.