Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake dental offices navigate reopening amid COVID-19 pandemic

(photo courtesy Azure Dental, design by Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)
(photo courtesy Azure Dental, design by Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)

(photo courtesy Azure Dental, design by Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Dental offices statewide received the go-ahead to begin offering routine services May 1 after being shut down for weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Practitioners in Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake say they are pulling out all the stops to ensure their staff and patients are safe.

To minimize contact between patients, Dr. Aditi Shah of Azure Dental in Colleyville said she is limiting the number of patients in her office to two at a time. That’s after the patients have undergone a screening for COVID-19 symptoms.

Among Shah’s other precautions are filtering the air in each room after use as well as donning multiple layers of personal protective equipment, she said.

“I'm probably wearing ... two different types of masks: an N95 and a regular one over [the N95] to protect it because we don't have that many of those,” she said. "I'm wearing goggles, and I'm wearing a face shield.”

Sourcing protective equipment during the pandemic has proven to be a challenge for some. Dr. Anissa Singratanakul, who goes by Sing, said she has acquired supplies for her True Dental office in Grapevine through donations as well as other atypical means.

“My brother-in-law actually 3D printed us face masks,” Sing said. “Fortunately, we had a back stock of sanitizers. ... We had gone to Sam’s [Club] a long time ago and bought the big gallon.”

It’s not just equipment and sanitizer that are in short supply amid the pandemic. Sing said she has resorted to Facebook groups to get information about accessing funds from federal financial relief.

“They said apply through PayPal, [so] I applied with PayPal and got review within the day,” Sing said. “They said they'd submit the application, but then there's nobody to talk to you because it's a web bank.”

Statewide, dental offices were the second highest sector of unemployment claims filed between March 25-April 25, accounting for 29,863 claims during that time, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Both Sing and Shah said they issued furloughs during the stay-at-home orders so their respective employees could access unemployment benefits.

Though Shah was approved for the Payroll Protection Program, she said she has received little communication about meeting certain requirements of the loan.

“Depending on the bank that you worked with, or ... when you got the money, there's this big question mark of 'will this loan be forgiven or will it become a loan?’” Shah said. "I really don't know how they're going to audit the process. All I know is that we need to keep records of it."

Veronica Darnell, who manages Darnell Dentistry in Southlake, said she and her husband opted to keep their staff on payroll during the stay-at-home order. Darnell said that move made for an easier transition when non-emergency dental procedures were allowed to resume May 1.

“Our very valuable team—hygienists and all—rotated answering the phones, and because of that, they really were at the forefront [of the] information we were getting,” Darnell said.

Shah said that after much work upfront, her business is able to resume some sense of normalcy.

"I've been fortunate that I've managed to find pretty much what I need, ... but it's taken quite a bit of ... detective work,” Shah said.
By Gavin Pugh
Gavin has reported for Community Impact Newspaper since June 2017. His beat has included Dallas Area Rapid Transit, public and higher education, school and municipal governments and more. He now serves as the editor of the Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake edition.


Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley announced bars, wineries and breweries could reopen at 50% capacity Oct. 14. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tarrant County business owners react to reduced COVID-19 bar restrictions

Local bars and wineries in Tarrant County reopened at 50% capacity beginning Oct. 14.

Tarrant County has reopened applications for its Small Business Assistance Grant program. Businesses can receive funding up to $10,000. (Adobe Stock Photo)
Tarrant County opens new round of small-business grants Oct. 26

Round 2 of applications for Tarrant County's Small Business Assistance Grant has opened.

An estimated 3,500 trees were destroyed by last October's tornado. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Free trees: Replace those lost in Richardson tornado and more DFW news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Kahuna Chair is an authorized dealer of KMBest luxury massage chairs. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kahuna Chair now open in Colleyville

Kahuna Chair sells luxury massage chairs in Colleyville.

Concept art for the front signage of the hotel (Contributed by Marriott)
Marriott hotel to open second Delta Hotels DFW location in Southlake

Marriott hotel will be opening its second Delta DFW location in mid-November in Southlake.

Applications for Southlake's grant program will open in December. (Courtesy Pexels)
Southlake to open applications for $1 million business grant program

Southlake is working on a new small-business grant relief program to help local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Home furnishings retailer Living Spaces has opened a store in Fort Worth and will offer a variety of designer collections, including Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines. (Courtesy Living Spaces)
Living Spaces opens in Fort Worth and more DFW-area news

Read the latest Dallas-Fort Worth business and community news.

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. (Courtesy Pexels)
Tackling Texas' vote-by-mail system: Applying, delivering, tracking your ballot

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

The L.A.B. Med Spa is located in Southlake and offers a variety of treatments and facials. (Courtesy of the L.A.B. Med Spa)
New medical spa The L.A.B. now open in Southlake

A newly opened medical spa in Southlake offers a variety of facials and treatments including neurotoxins.

Grapevine City Council and the Grapevine Planning and Zoning Commission listen to a presentation from Greystar representative Andrew Ord about expanding the Preserve's apartment complex, located near the DFW Airport and Highway 360. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Grapevine officials approve apartment complex expansion

Grapevine City Council and the Grapevine Planning and Zoning Commission held a joint meeting Oct. 20 to approve Phase II of the Preserve, a luxury apartment complex near the DFW Airport.

The newly opened Hotel Vin and the upcoming Harvest Hall adjacent to the hotel are looking to hire employees during their Oct. 22 hiring fair. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hotel Vin, Harvest Hall set to host hiring fair in Grapevine

Individuals interested in working at Hotel Vin or Harvest Hall can attend a hiring fair Oct. 22.