The dental industry had stopped when the pandemic of COVID-19 became widespread. Read more about COVID-19 on this site here. The CDC and American Dental Association are not weighing the risks of the clinics opening again and providing the care that their patients badly need.
As some states are starting to reopen, know that you can still be safe when you visit. The procedures may change, and you may be required to wear personal protective equipment, but it will all be worth it. In most cases, the employees in a clinic have most likely received their vaccinations but are still tightening their disinfection methods, so there’s no need to worry about it.
Are Dental Clinics Safe?
You can come in contact with the germs at any time of the day, and it can be inside or outside of your house. However, know that you should still follow the safety guidelines like wearing masks, washing your hands, and social distancing.
Nowadays, most dentists are working a lot when it comes to sterilizing the tools, and they never use the same needles and gear on other patients. You can visit sites like https://eschenbachdental.com/ to know more about their disinfection process and how you can get an appointment with them. When these facilities are reopened once again, they can prevent the spread of COVID by doing the following:
- Disinfection of tools and surfaces that are done after every patient
- Cover, clean, and replace the tools that they have ever used
- Protective gear is worn more than the usual time they are required
- Covered mouths with dental dams to prevent contamination
Others may also do the following:
- Receive one patient at a time and space out their appointment
- Require you to call or chat first before you go to their clinics
- Doesn’t accept walk-in any longer
- Will require you to wear a face mask while waiting at their lobbies
- Ask about your travel history
- Will tell you not to arrive too early so they can do disinfection
- Limit the number of people and prevent kids from visiting
- Politely ask you to wait in your car while they are getting ready
- Place chairs that are far from one another
- Get rid of the magazines, toys, and other usual things that people tend to touch while waiting
Things to Know About Before Going
Know that the coronavirus can be transported by droplets present in the air. They can fly out if a person sneezes or coughs. If you breathe that in, you can get sick and show symptoms. The virus can also be present inside your saliva or mucus. The fluids inside the mouth come into contact with the dental tools, so it’s essential to get them sanitized beforehand.
Many of the clinics may not be prepared for a higher level of safety and protection. This is because some don’t invest in:
- Isolation rooms that are prone to airborne particles
- One room for each client
- Not enough protective gear or N95 face masks available
Non-Urgent Treatments and Procedures
Sometimes, some procedures can be delayed. This means that a tooth does not bother you, and you can wait for a few months after things get a bit better in your area. If these treatments are not done right away, they won’t affect your health, and they can be put off later if you’re worried about getting infected. Some of these routine procedures that can be delayed are:
- Check-up for your braces
- Cleanings and exams
- Treatments like tooth removal or cavity that does not hurt
- Whitening and other cosmetic procedures
What are Considered Emergencies?
These emergency issues need treatment right away, and they can be life-threatening without the dentist’s intervention. These are the problems with higher risks of infection and severe pain. Usually, the urgent issues can be decided by your dentist, and some of them can be the following:
- Severe pain
- Bleeding doesn’t stop
- There’s a need for a biopsy for a tissue
- Swollen areas are present around the mouth (face, gums, and neck)
- Broken teeth because of tissue damage
- Swelling and pain which are signs of infection
- Temporary crowns that are broken or lost
- Cancer-related dental work
- Dentures that don’t help with the eating process
- Hurting wires on the braces
- Trauma that’s affecting one’s ability to breathe
You can call your ortho for more questions about the care that is well suited for you and whether you need to set an appointment with them or not. If they cannot accommodate you in times of emergencies, you can ask them for referrals, so you’ll be more welcomed. Urgent care clinics can also be an option for you.
You need to tell your dentist if you were found positive for COVID-19. Most of the symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, dry cough, and fatigue. Quarantine and isolation for at least 14 days can be the best option if you have mild symptoms. You can work with your doctor to ensure that you’re getting the proper care that you need. Also, you can monitor your oxygen levels with an oximeter to know your body’s condition.
If you feel ill when it is time for your appointment, call the clinic immediately. If the process can be postponed, do so because the virus may spread to other patients, which can be worse for some. There’s ongoing training and education regarding the health policies and procedures.
Fortunately, some people had already gone to the dentist after receiving a complete vaccination, and everything turned out fine. Some people are so used to the cleanings and adjustments that they regularly receive that they want to go to their dentists even if there’s a pandemic. This is all fine and but make sure that you call them first.
Some will give you questionnaires to gather more information about your condition. It’s best to provide all the info that they need so that everyone will be safe inside the clinic. These are the same procedures that all patients are going through.