HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Dr. Buddy Brice still has his magic with kids, but even he couldn’t keep COVID-19 from making a trip to the dentist frightening.
“People were very scared to come in,” he said. “We had parents who wanted to come in but were scared about it, and of course, they backed off on keeping their appointment.”
The chairs at Brice Pediatric Dental Specialists aren’t as full as they normally would be.
Extreme protocols have helped.
“We’ve been able to provide a very safe environment for these kids to come back to,” said partner Dr. Austin McMurphy. “And I know dentists everywhere have had very great success in providing quality care and safe care at the same time.”
Now, the gears are shifting toward a more permanent sense of normalcy.
Dentists and their staff, considered frontline healthcare workers, are getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Brice and McMurphy have already had their first round, and staff members are following suit.
“I was very happy that we were able to - as healthcare providers - get our names as dentists moved up to the initial round just because we always want to make sure that we’re staying safe,” McMurphy said.
They recommend the vaccine for everyone.
“We just want to get back to some type of normalcy - not only for the practice but for the staff and for the children,” Brice said. “They need normalcy more than anything. It’s really affected the kids more than you think.”
Dr. Emery Edwards in Gulfport is likewise feeling the pinch.
“We were out of work for two months,” he said. “The first two weeks were fun, but it wasn’t fun after that. So, we were just glad to get back to work.”
He plans to get vaccinated this week.
“It’s a no-brainer. You’ve got to take it. You’ve got to take it,” he said. “Now that I’ve come this far and not gotten it, that I know of, I would hate to get it in the last two weeks. So, I’m excited about getting it.”