WHEN the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out earlier this year, dentists were one of the most at risk professions in the country.
Subsequently, dentists were restricted to treating only emergency patients.
However, thanks to the state government's easing of coronavirus restrictions, dentists can now offer locals their full service.
One such dentist is Tamworth's Paul Hagley, who said he was eager to see more of his patients.
"Our industry was considered potentially high risk because a lot of the procedures we do generate an aerosol, which if the patient were COVID-19 positive, could spread the infection," Dr Hagley said.
"For that reason, we were moved to Level 3 restrictions and only allowed to offer emergency procedures.
"As of two weeks ago, we moved down to Level 2 restrictions and now we are down to Level 1, which is basically almost back to normal."
The long-time Tamworth dentist said people were encouraged to visit their dentist while still following social distancing measures.
"As of the beginning of this week we are back to Level 1 restrictions, which means that we can do all dental procedures now," he said.
"However, we still have to practice social distancing and patient screenings.
"Basically what it means is if you feel a little bit unwell, please stay home."
Dr Hagley said his practice, Darling Dental had already seen an influx of locals looking for treatment.
"There's no doubt the majority of people take their oral health seriously and have been eager to come in," he said.
"Certainly, there's been a lot of people who have had to have their treatments rescheduled that are now by and large wanting to come in and get treatment.
"Those people are on top of people who were booked in already to have treatment done.
"Things are certainly getting busier, while there are still a few people who are still hesitant."