Chief Clinical Editor Dr. John Flucke's reacts to COVID-19 communications to dental professionals

March 19, 2020

As the pandemic began impacting the daily lives of Americans, dental practices were left wondering how to respond as science and guidance were slow to arrive.

Grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic is a challenge dental professionals are facing in their personal and professional lives, and the upheaval dental practices now face can be daunting.

In a recent post on his blog entitled "This changes everything…", Dental Products Report Chief Clinical Editor and Technology Editor Dr. John Flucke shared his feelings on the turbulant week he and the industry have faced as he's tried to understand how and when to see patients during a pandemic. In the post he expresses frustration at the lack of clear and consistent messaging to dentists and the limbo that left clinicians to navigate on their own.

In the post he writes:

"I spent a great deal of time on Sunday researching the science behind the pandemic and its spread.  I began reaching out to people who I consider much smarter than myself.  The problem I encountered was that there lots of “educated guesses” based on extensive training and years of professional experience, but there was one caveat… No one was sure… and *that* was the problem.

Throughout this crisis, those of us in the trenches, on the front lines of the attack, whatever analogy you want to use, we’ve been waiting for someone to make the decision.  No matter where I looked (and I looked at *a lot* of websites), the consensus was “use your best judgement as a practitioner”.  However, as a practitioner part of my decision making process is to know when I don’t have enough information and NEED more.  So I turned to the experts who, instead of providing leadership and recommendations, went with the “use your best judgement” approach.

This approach lead to a huge hole in our defenses as tens of thousands of us tried to figure it out by ourselves.  Emails were bouncing around the Internet like Super Balls at a county fair.  No one knew what to do and no one was offering direction on what to do.  The Hypcratic Oath states “above all, do no harm”, but we didn’t have any idea what would and what wouldn’t cause harm." 

The post continues to follow the details and closure recommendations that rolled out in the first half of the week to reach the point we're at now.

Go here to read his full post.