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CSI's dental clinic opens its doors once again

Posted at 5:30 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 19:30:34-04

TWIN FALLS  — The College of Southern Idaho's dental clinic has been temporarily closed since late March, but on Monday, they were able to open their doors once again. With the reopening, the dental clinic is taking the safety precautions put into place by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Probably the newest thing is we don't use a visor, a plastic visor. And of course, the Plexi glasses that are out there, they call them sneeze shields. The plastic visors are going to be used over masks," Cindy Harding, Director of Dental Hygiene at CSI, said.

All of these changes and the shut down of the dental clinic, has meant an uncertain future for most of the graduating seniors in the dental hygiene program.

"You know that four weeks off was kind of rocky there, we were all concerned, obviously, that we weren't going to be able to finish graduating or we weren't going to be able to keep up on our skills, but you know we got right back in, and I love it," Tiffany Oakes, graduating senior of the dental hygiene program at CSI, said.

The waiting process will also be a little offbeat, with patients having to wait in their car instead of in the waiting room. This is a process that most dental clinics will be implementing, including one in Boise.

"You're going to see some differences in staggered scheduling. You're going to have to have a little more patience as you wait to be escorted into the dental office to your treatment room. We just have to have some understanding of that and realize that it's for the greater good of everyone," Dr. Jill Shelton Wagers, Dentist for Boise Bench Dentistry, said.

Oakes tells Idaho News 6, all of these adjustments have altered the experience of senior year for her and her peers.

"We were all a little devastated we kind of sat out on the foyer and talked about it and what we can do in order to just keep up on our skills and keep up on learning and learning with each other, and there may have been some tears that have been shed, obviously, just because there were so many unknowns, but we knew that we would eventually overcome it and finish," Oakes said.