Regular dental appointments are important since oral health is related to overall health. While it’s tempting to postpone your regular checkups during the Covid-19 pandemic, this is not advisable. That’s because routine appointments give dentists and hygienists the opportunity to check and monitor a number of oral health conditions. When conditions such as tooth decay are identified early, they can be easier and less expensive to treat. When dental disease is left untreated it can become more difficult, painful, and expensive to address.
5 Reasons Why You Should Feel Safe
1. Dentists & hygienists have years of training in infection control & prevention.
Dentists and hygienists have followed comprehensive infection control standards for years to protect themselves, their teams,
and most importantly their patients from exposure to infectious diseases. In addition to wearing eye protection, masks, and
gloves to decrease their risk of exposure, dental professionals have stepped up their standard protocols even further during the
pandemic by adding surgical gowns, face shields and higher-level masks (e.g. N95s).
2. Effective patient screening protocols
Dental offices now screen each patient prior to the visit. Typically, a series of questions is asked to identify possible risk factors
and exposure. Patients are often asked to wait outside rather than in waiting rooms, wear face masks, and not bring additional
people to their appointment. When patients arrive at the office, they are greeted by a masked dental team member, a few
additional questions, a temperature check and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Active steps to reduce aerosols
Dentists and hygienists are taking additional precautions to reduce the creation of aerosols, which can carry viral particles
through the air. These can include pre-procedural antiviral oral rinses, the use of high-evacuation suction whenever possible,
and for longer procedures, limiting exposure with rubber dental dams.
4. Increased cleaning protocols
Dental offices have always operated with strict cleaning procedures before, during, and after patient visits to prevent crosscontamination. Now in addition to normal cleaning protocols, offices are specifically using disinfectants known to kill theCOVID-19 virus, removing high-touch items like magazines and toys from waiting rooms, frequently cleaning or replacing items
like pens and clipboards and providing multiple hand sanitizer dispensers.
5. Fewer patients per day
Dental offices are seeing fewer patients in the office each day so people can stay farther apart in clinics and waiting rooms.This additional time also allows for the thorough cleaning described above and vigilance of the dental team to utilize personal
protective equipment to help keep everyone safe.
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