As dentists in Ontario are now allowed to book patients whose appointments were put off due to COVID-19, the regular check up or cleaning is starting to look a little different.

On Sunday, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) gave its members the green light to resume routine appointments.

During the pandemic, they were only allowed to see patients for emergencies.

Now, dentists like Mark Perry of Dentistry on King in Kitchener are getting ready for a whole different type of appointment.

"Things will not be the same as they were pre-COVID-19," he said.

This dentist’s office has been following the rules up until now and only seeing patients for urgent and essential procedures.

"We’re treating infection, severe pain that can’t be controlled with over the counter medication,” said Perry.

Dentistry on King is not booking cleanings and fillings just yet though, as they wat for the guidance from the college.

"There will be new and enhanced standards that will be more rigorous than they were previously,” said Perry.

The RCDSO is still working to clarify guidelines. They say documents developed by the Chief Medical Officer of Health were for all health professionals and that they are currently figuring out how they apply to oral health care, specifically aerosol-generating procedures.

Perry says he has spent about $15,000 so far retro-fitting his office.

"The way it is right now with the guidelines is one patient every three and a half hours,” said Sandra Ammonn, a restorative dental hygienist at Dentistry on King. "So maybe three patients in a nine hour day.”

The RCDSO says they hope to have an updated on guidelines for dental offices early in the coming week.