Dr. Wade Banner
In the past year, we have seen the COVID-19 pandemic affect the lives of billions worldwide. Whether it was financial hardships, emotional and mental stress, physical health complications, or a combination of the listed, everyone has had to overcome crisis after crisis. But amidst this chaos, fear, and confusion, a common trend has emerged. As Bob Riley, the 52nd Governor of Alabama, said: “Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the hero within us is revealed.”
At Top Doctor Magazine, we believe that these heroes are the same brave, talented, and amazingly dedicated men and women who serve in the medical community. Through this trying time, doctors, nurses, and other medical experts have become a shining beacon in this dark time. They are our modern-day heroes, and these are their stories.
Introducing Dr. Wade Banner and In Motion Dentists
The Founder of In Motion Dentists, Dr. Banner, is a Board-Certified Dentist who has a passion for working with elderly, disabled, and special needs populations. Originally from Idaho, he moved to California in 2010 and attended the Western University College of Dental Medicine. During his fourth year of dental school, Dr. Banner became involved with a non-profit organization that served special needs and disabled patients. He shadowed the organization’s dentist for a year before going to work with them. In this time, he realized his passion for and ability to help these unique populations, and in 2014 In Motion Dentists was created. By Operating in both Los Angeles and Orange County, Dr. Banner is able to further his passion for helping those who need house-call dentistry.
How In Motion Dentists Is Responding To The COVID-19 Pandemic
During the early stages of the pandemic in March and April, In Motion Dentists limited services to emergency treatments only. Then, starting in June, Dr. Banner and his team began seeing an uptick in calls from patients desperately seeking dental services. Going back to an almost full-time workload in June, In Motion Dentists also saw a large demographic of patients coming from those who were uncomfortable going back into a traditional dental office. Answering the need for providing quality care to their patients, they were able to bring on a third doctor and two hygienists this year.
Like many other doctors and medical companies came to realize, it was difficult to find enough PPE during the earlier months of the pandemic. This was true for Dr. Banner and his team. However, as time has continued and manufacturers are able to answer the demand, getting PPE is less of a concern. Dr. Banner explained that adjusting to wearing all of the PPE needed to keep patients and staff safe was not all that drastic of a change. Since many of their patients are medically compromised, they were already wearing masks, gowns, and shoe coverings for each appointment. The additional PPE and disinfecting procedures for equipment and vehicles adopted in the last several months have been received widely by both staff and patients with appreciation.
Compared to most practices, Dr. Banner did not have to adjust his practice to the many unique sanitation rules, such as removing coffee makers and magazines from waiting areas. Due to their unique operating style, everything is done digitally. There is no need for physical in-office precautions. However, one important precaution that they take is asking patients, caregivers, and care-facilities if there are any COVID-19 outbreaks or sicknesses before arriving at the appointment.
“With doing house-call dentistry in general, the people that we hire have to be fluid in how they work because we’re in a different situation at every appointment. …The personalities of the people we hire are fairly easy-going and adapt well to changes,” said Dr. Banner of his team.
Dr. Banner and his team are doing their part to stop the spread of the virus, protecting themselves and their patients. Before, during, and after patient visits, they are physically distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands, among other precautions. However, as Dr. Banner said, there isn’t much more to be done beyond these particular measures. “COVID-19 is a virus, so if it’s going to get you, it’s going to get you,” he said. His personal opinion is that the most important thing to understand is that this virus is real, poses a threat, and is not going away anytime soon, so doing your part to mitigate the spread is extremely valuable. Dr. Banner has not seen his family since last Christmas to protect both his pregnant wife and patient population. Taking trips, flying, and being in large gatherings are unnecessary risks that he is unwilling to take. “Measures have been directed by the CDC and the government, so adherence to those measures will help the spread,” he said.
In Motion Dentists, with the approaching winter season, is investing in gowns, hand sanitizer, and protective equipment to keep them and their patients safe. With the approaching flu season, the pandemic presents a special opportunity for practices to reevaluate their safety protocols and be proactive in their preventative measures.
For the New Year, Dr. Banner is already in the process of building a brick and mortar practice in which to see patients that want in-person dental visits. Many of the family members of In Motion Dentists’ current patients have expressed interest for this and will be among the first appointments made. Not only will having a physical practice allow In Motion Dentists to meet the needs of current patients and their family members, but it will also broaden their reach for new clientele.
Overall, Dr. Banner tries to keep his mind focused on what he can control, “My philosophy is that I worry about the things I can control and don’t worry about the things I can’t.”
This year has been hard for all of us in many ways, yet we must continue to keep our eyes on the future and the areas in our lives we control.