Friday, April 16, 2021
42.9 F
Friday, April 16, 2021
42.9 F

Area Orthodontist Copes with Pandemic Disruptions, Urges Change to State Restrictions on Oral Emergencies

Editor’s Note: This article is part of’s ongoing series, “The Beaver County Coronavirus Chronicles,” the county’s historical experience of the pandemic. Click here to see more of the series.


Dr. David Spokane was busy today fixing the trains that run around his orthodontic offices in Chippewa Township.

Since Wednesday, when he closed all of his offices including the others in Ambridge, Center Township, Ellwood City, New Castle and Seven Fields, he’s been trying to keep busy. So those trains he uses to entertain young visitors are getting a long-overdue fixing. Next, he was heading to New Castle to fix more.

Spokane said his remaining staff is busy making calls to the offices’ “thousands” of patients, trying to reschedule appointments after May 4. Those with pain or other problems will be given first consideration, as well as new patients who can help restore lost revenues, he said.

He’s also been texting and emailing patients as needed to instruct on elastic wear, hygiene and other things, he said.

Spokane, who is also the president of the local dentistry society, said patients with emergency needs will have to go to a hospital emergency room or to Ohio, where dental offices have not been closed.

He expressed frustration that Gov. Tom Wolf didn’t consult with dental organizations for making his order. “The last place I’d want a patient to go with an abscess is the hospital,” he said. “There’s a greater chance of them getting the coronavirus there than at a dentist.”

He said there is a current effort to get Wolf to allow doctors of oral health to see emergency patients.


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Lori Boone
Lori Boone
Lori DeLauter Boone has more than 20 years of experience in investigative and community journalism. She’s won more than a dozen regional, state and national journalism awards.

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