Dentistry and COVID-19: What You Should Know

Many people are still concerned about the spread of the novel coronavirus called COVID-19. But if you’re avoiding seeing the dentist because of concerns related to the virus, it’s important to know about the precautions being taken to help protect you from the virus.

Getting dental care is an important part of your overall health care, and it can still be performed safely, even in the age of COVID-19. In this blog, the providers at Dental Art of South Bay explain more about the precautions that are part of safe dental care.

It starts with healthy dental staff

The fact is that dentists and dental staff have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the close contact required with patients and their bodily fluids. So, the first way we protect you is by doing regular, diligent screenings of our staff.

We ensure that our dentists and staff are healthy and virus-free before they are allowed to see patients. That’s a great place to start in making your visit to the dentist as low-risk as possible.

Screenings include patients

We also screen every patient for virus symptoms. We take temperatures and ask each patient if they have had symptoms of the virus or contact with others who have had the virus. Patients who are sick or who have come into contact with sick people are asked to reschedule their appointments for a later date.

Staggered patient care

When you make an appointment to come in, you’ll likely notice some changes in the way the office operates. To reduce your risk of exposure to other people, we limit the number of patients and guests in our office. Although parents of minor children are certainly welcome, we generally ask that you attend appointments alone.

We also stagger the number of patients we see to limit the number of people in the office at one time. You may even be taken to an exam room shortly after arriving, rather than waiting in the waiting room.

Proper disinfection techniques

Dental practices are already very good about practicing safe hygiene to minimize the spread of germs. You may not have noticed it previously, but our dental staff was already in the habit of wearing masks while performing procedures.

We also sterilize instruments and put plastic barriers over reusable equipment. We also disinfect exam rooms between seeing patients and disinfect commonly used areas.

Why you shouldn’t postpone dental care

You may have been avoiding the dentist for most of the past year, when COVID-19 was new to the national scene. And while you can usually get away with skipping an annual dental visit here and there, it’s not recommended that you make it a habit. 

Annual dental visits are about more than just cleaning your teeth. We also take X-rays of your teeth to uncover problems — such as cavities — that we may not see through a visual inspection. Furthermore, other changes can affect your teeth over time, which may require additional care. For example, you may have a filling that needs to be replaced. Failing to do so in a timely manner could lead to the need for additional dental work, such as needing a root canal.

If you’ve put off visiting the dentist, you don’t need to. You can get the care you need safely. To get an exam or any other dental care, book an appointment over the phone with Dental Art of South Bay today.

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