Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from seeing dentist

Proper dental care is as essential as ever, and dentists have implemented extraordinary pandemic safety measures.

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Poor dental health and periodontal (gum) disease may worsen the outcome of patients with COVID-19.

Sun-Times Media

The World Health Organization has recommended that patients delay routine oral care due to COVID-19. As a dental specialist at Associated Dental Specialists and professor at Northwestern University, I strongly disagree, and I want to tell you why.

First, oral care is essential. Poor oral health can lead to systemic health problems. Routine dental care now may prevent serious medical issues later. It has also been reported that poor dental health and periodontal (gum) disease may worsen the outcome of patients with COVID-19. 

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Second, dentists are infectious disease control experts who have implemented extraordinary safety measures. When you go to your dentist, the office will not look the same. We have put in place exhaustive new procedures, including advanced personal protective equipment and enhanced infection control procedures.

Third, patients trust us to keep them safe. In July, North American Dental Group, a dental service organization supporting more than 230 dental practices including ours, commissioned a national survey in which most patients indicated they trust their dentist to protect them from COVID-19.

We have not taken lightly the immense responsibility we have to protect our patients. We are confident that we can safely care for all patients during this crisis. 

Dr. Mark Cannon, DDS
Associated Dental Specialists

Pass Clean Energy Jobs Act

The proposed Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 2132/HB 3624) would move Illinois to 100% renewable energy by 2050. This important bill would help fight climate change and safeguard the health of communities.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act is one of the most ambitious bills in the country when it comes to addressing climate change. CEJA would create thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs for the people who need them most, like low-income communities and communities of color, and workers displaced by the ongoing decline of fossil fuels.

As families across Illinois continue to suffer and small businesses close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we need a recovery plan that not only creates jobs but creates jobs in the communities that need them most. It would expand wind and solar energy across the state, keep utilities accountable, make buildings more energy efficient, and reduce pollution from the transportation sector (Illinois’ single largest source of carbon emissions) by investing in electric vehicles.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act will also save Illinoisans money by protecting them from energy companies that want us to pay more to support their outdated, expensive fossil fuel power plants. It will support an equitable transition for communities and workers affected by the ongoing move away from coal, which we saw here in Illinois with the recent closure of four Vistra coal plants.

Illinoisans already know what worsening climate change feels like: Poor air quality … more severe tornadoes … destructive flooding … a surge in insect-borne diseases … and more deadly hot days in urban heat islands like Chicago. The Clean Energy Jobs Act was developed with the input of people all over Illinois, in nearly 70 public discussions with participants of all ages and backgrounds and across rural, urban, and suburban communities, from Chicago to Carbondale.

Albert Laser, North Park

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