Dental Care Remains Critical Despite the Pandemic
Are you afraid of doing your usual dental checkups because of the Corona Virus pandemic? Many people are just like you. However, the reality is that people have dental issues and will continue to have them despite the Corona Virus pandemic. Delaying treatment for a decayed tooth, tooth abscess, swollen gums, aching jaws, or any other dental issues until COVID-19 ends is something that ADA does not recommend. Having emergency dental problems treated right away is what ADA recommends. Concerning non-essential dental checkups, the ones you can skip without significant consequences, the World Health Organization and ADA have no collective answer. If you have been enduring dental pain and discomfort for over nine months, you didn’t have to. Dental offices were up and running across the U.S since May 2020.
Here are 11 tips to help you and your dentist stay safe
- Get in touch with your dentist so you can find out when your next appointment will be. The method of communication should be a phone call, an SMS, or an email. Physical contact should be avoided where possible.
- It would help if you avoid being accompanied by others during appointments unless they are kids or people with special needs.
- Before entering your dentist’s office, expect that your temperature will be measured as fever is one of the symptoms of COVID-19.
- Masks and hand sanitizers will be made available at the office in case you come without.
- There will be an isolation room created for the treatment of any patient suspected of having COVID-19 to reduce the odds of transmission at the dental office.
- Constant cleaning of hands with an alcohol-based hand rub will be encouraged at the doctor’s office, especially when the hands are noticeably soiled.
- Your dentist must wear personal protective equipment, N95 masks/surgical mask, gloves, face or eye protection, and an over gown when doing an aerosol-generating procedure on you.
- A hair cover and double gloves is another recommendation being practiced in some dental offices.
- Your dentist might ask you to use a mouth rinse with 1% hydrogen peroxide and 1% povidone iodine to minimize viral load before offering treatment.
- Dentists have stopped using high-speed, ultrasonic scalers and similar tools as these expel fluids and debris might have COVID-19. Instead, they are using low or high volume suction devices to reduce aerosol production.
- Rubber dams are also an option during aerosol-generating procedures to reduce airborne particles by up to seventy percent.
As COVID-19 events continue to unfold quickly, dental practitioners should keep up with the latest news and guidelines from ADA and other regulatory bodies. Proper waste management should also be observed to reduce transmission of the virus among those handling the waste. On the other hand, patients should gather the courage to have their dental issues checked by a professional to avoid severe consequences later on.