Dentistry During a Pandemic

Teeth, gums may be neglected during challenging days battling COVID-19

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The Hometown Dental team in Yukon opened in August. From left to right, back row, are Trish, Brandi and Bobby. Front row from left to right is Dr. James Brunson, Debi and Dani. (Photo provided)

From Staff Reports

Setting up a new business during a pandemic is a challenge.

For a new dentistry in Yukon, establishing a presence in town for Hometown Dental was expected to be a slow process, said Dr. James Todd Brunson. Brunson moved his practice to Yukon last year.

One of the side effects of COVID-19 for dentists has been seeing regular patients make fewer trips to the dentist’s office these days, Dr. Brunson said.

People have not been going to the dentist for regular checkups, Dr. Brunson said. The cost to patients without benefits may be a concern during economic downturns.

Dr. Brunson said he expected starting a new dentistry would take time to get going without a pandemic.

“Getting from ground zero to busy takes time. It has gone slow,” Dr. Brunson said.

People, however, should not neglect their teeth, he said. There are people who need emergency root canals or extractions, or they have infections who come in despite the pandemic. And he encourages people to keep regular visits to the dentist for preventative maintenance.

Hometown Dental takes precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Rooms are sterilized and all CDC guidelines are followed at Hometown Dental. Also, the dentistry uses treated water that kills viruses and bacteria. The ozonated water is used for people to rinse during all procedures, he said.

Dr. Brunson said people who do not have insurance should not avoid the dentist. There are payment options available and discounts.

“We try to help people get what they really need,” Dr. Brunson said. “We try to treat people like we want to be treated.”

If dental work is neglected, the problems with infections or decay will only get worse and more expensive if not taken care of in early stages, he said.

Dr. Brunson was raised as “an Air Force brat,” he said, and after being born in Texas, he graduated from the University of The Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco. He moved to Rogers, Arkansas in 2013 and opened the Yukon office on Aug. 3.

Botox is also offered at Hometown Dental which prevents wrinkles in skin and treats headaches.

“Our Botox has been very successful,” Dr. Brunson said.

He said he likes Yukon’s small-town atmosphere, and his business has grown by word-of-mouth as well, despite a slower than normal start of a business in the pandemic.

“It’s slowly progressing and getting better,” Brunson said.

Hometown Dental is located at 1315 S. Holly Ave. in Yukon. To make an appointment call (405) 494-8006, or by email at admin@hometowndentalok.com.