Effingham displays brighten Christmas spirit

As we have driven around our beautiful city of Effingham this past week, we couldn’t help but be impressed by all of the Christmas decorations in the downtown area, especially on the Museum lawn. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the city workers and all others who have worked so very hard to make our downtown so festive and beautiful.

The Wonderland of Lights is something to behold also and is a great complement to the downtown area. The city employees and downtown business owners go above and beyond in order to decorate for the season.

Your hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated. What a great town!

Ron and Kim Willenborg, Effingham

Dental care is safe during pandemic

The patients calling into our dental offices ask important questions: How do I know I will be safe during my visit?

Fortunately, we have been ready for these challenging times for many years.

All across Illinois, dental offices have welcomed back patients for care they put off this spring when coronavirus forced them to shutter to all but emergency treatment. As cases surge again and government officials put in necessary restrictions again, our message is clear: Dental care is safe, essential and must continue because it is a valuable part of our individual and collective public health.

Nearly 40 years ago, the emergence of HIV and AIDS prompted all health care providers to take extra precautions. Dental offices led the way, going through comprehensive training and education, and implementing new federal safety standards. So the extra lengths we see in health care facilities today – protective masks, gloves, gowns and extra attention to cleaning and disinfecting – have been our practice for many years.

It is clear that skipping dentist visits is misguided and harmful. When we put off oral care, infection spreads through the body and it can lead to dementia, heart disease or other life-threatening health challenges that also will be much more costly to address.

We are taking extra precautions during these times to keep everyone safe, from asking patients to call in ahead of their appointment to discuss their health, to having their temperature taken when they arrive and sitting distanced from others. National studies have shown that fewer than 1 percent of dentists have contracted the disease and there are no documented cases of transmission in a clinical dental setting.

Dental care is safe. Dental care is essential. And dental care should be here to stay throughout the pandemic. Our public health depends on it.

Eric Larson , Executive Director Illinois Dental Society, Springfield

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