As we continue to adjust our lives to the Coronavirus pandemic, it can be difficult to schedule routine dental appointments. Since it is impossible to have a thorough dental exam with a mask on, patients are fearful of attending their appointments. This is completely understandable, as the coronavirus is an airborne disease. Without a mask, you are much more susceptible to the virus. However, dental visits are much safer than you think!
Dentists are experts in infection control
As medical professionals, infection control is one of the fundamentals of dentistry. As the decades come and go, there are certain things we look back on and learn from. For example, the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980’s forced us to implement new technologies and protocols to keep our dentists and patients safe.
In recent times, despite the extremely close proximity between patients and dentists, less than one percent of 2,200 dentists surveyed in June of 2020 had been diagnosed with COVID-19. This excellent number is due to the extra layer of protection on top of their already high sanitization standards.
Things look a bit different
Though we can still visit our dentists as we used to, the waiting room may not look the same as it once did. The complimentary coffee or tea, the magazines, the abundance of chairs, will most likely be missing. All of these items mentioned are risky to have during a pandemic. People touching the same magazines, sitting too closely in the chairs, or removing their masks to take sips of coffee are all risks that can be easily eliminated.
Some offices may even have patients wait in their cars until it’s time for their appointment. It has become pretty standard to go through a telephone screening process prior to the appointment to ensure patients have not been exposed or diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last two weeks. This eliminates the risk of people coming in, only to find out they were recently exposed.
What will dental professionals be wearing?
Typically, you will see your dentist wearing a mask while examining your mouth. Nowadays, you might see face shields, gowns, and goggles in addition to the traditional mask. All of these extra steps are crucial in preventing the spread of COVID-19. With the use of personal protective equipment, dental offices may schedule their clients strategically to make sure they are always stocked on supplies.
Dental tools–are they sterile?
Dental offices have always used tools that are sterilized after each use. Some dental offices are eliminating metal tools and using plastic tools that are thrown away after each use. Either way, the tools are extremely sterile and safe!
Contact us at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about the changes in dentistry that keep us all safe from COVID-19.