Dental Care During COVID-19
After the World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, many aspects of our lives changed. Thanks to social distancing rules, we are finding ourselves spending an increasing amount of time inside our homes, with the goal of slowing down infections and “flattening the curve.” But what happens when you need dental care during a pandemic? Do you still have to keep your distance away from the dentist?
Dental care has been recognized as an essential service, which means that dental practices can choose to remain open. However, the obvious challenge here is that dentists work in close proximity to their patients. When we are performing an extraction, we are within your personal space, just a couple of inches from your mouth. This begs the question of how to stay safe while ensuring that patients get the dental care they require.
As dentists, we have adopted a couple of policies to ensure we remain accessible while also being safe and responsible during this pandemic.
Before we have you over at our offices, we’ll ask you a couple of questions over the phone to determine whether you’re a high-risk candidate for COVID-19 infection. For instance, we’ll want to know whether you have traveled outside the country in the recent past and especially if you’ve been to countries with high transmission rates. We’ll also ask if you’re showing any flu-like symptoms. Have you been in close association with someone who tested positive for COVID-19? If yes, that’s information that we are interested in knowing.
Social Distancing in the Waiting Rooms
During appointments, we’re extra careful during our interactions with our patients. As you may have already guessed, the warm handshake has been replaced with a friendly smile. We’ll also ask you to sanitize your hands once you come into our office. We provide hand-washing soap and water as well as CDC-recommended sanitizer for this. We are asking patients to stay in the car and call/text us on arrival, and they will be asked to come in when we are ready to seat them.
Sterilization and PPE
As has been our policy, we keep all our equipment sterilized to eliminate the transfer of pathogens between patients. We use UV-C light sterilization between patients and hence are spacing out appointments to include proper and thorough sterilization and disinfection. Our dentists will also use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) during treatments to create a protective barrier between patient and dentist.
While it requires vigilance, dental care amid COVID-19 is possible. We don’t want you to suffer severe dental pain while also dealing with a pandemic. Call us today and let us have a conversation about how we can help you feel better during this challenging period.