June 23, 2020
Before 2020, face coverings, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders were not a part of our daily lives. Now that COVID-19 has been present for the better part of a year, infection control guidelines are being implemented everywhere you turn to prevent the transmission of this potentially fatal virus. Since new information is emerging each day, it may be overwhelming trying to decide which activities are considered dangerous during the pandemic. For example, is visiting the dentist for a routine visit safe? If you have found yourself wondering the same question, then your emergency dentist is here to share three measures they are taking to ensure your safety.
Wearing Additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
In the “old days,” your dental team would wash their hands, put on a new set of gloves, and begin your appointment. However, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) are recommending that dentists wear additional PPE in light of the current pandemic. Therefore, don’t be surprised when you see your dental team wearing face shields, disposable coats, and shoe coverings at your appointment during COVID-19.
Enforcing Social Distancing Measures
Did you know that the CDC estimates social distancing measures have prevented up to 185,000 deaths? Therefore, banks, shopping malls, and even your dental practice are re-designing their daily operations to make social distancing a practical reality. While you and your dentist will inevitably breach this guideline, their office is implementing 6-foot distance protocols by:
- Introducing virtual waiting rooms that allow you to check-in from your phone.
- Limiting the number of guests in their practice at any given time.
- Opting for contactless greetings (i.e., air high-five, a smile and wave, etc.).
Implementing Health Checks
Routine health checks for patients and staff are designed to prevent symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 from entering the building. This will help maintain a safe, sterile environment that is free from contagious bacteria and cross-contamination. Therefore, your dentist will be:
- Asking you to complete a safety questionnaire before your appointment.
- Conducting a no-contact temperature check when you arrive.
- Providing you a face mask to wear at your visit.
Amid a pandemic, even a routine visit to the dentist can be anxiety-inducing. Fortunately, your dental team is an expert in infection control and are using their extensive training and skill to create a safe environment. That way, you can keep your smile in pristine condition without compromising your health!
About the Author
After earning his undergraduate degree from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Dr. William W. Way obtained his doctoral degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. Since graduating in 1987, Dr. Way has used his impressive skill and passion for dentistry to help his patients achieve beautiful, strong, healthy smiles. Plus, he volunteers his dental services monthly at Crossover Ministry’s Medical and Dental Clinic in Richmond! If you would like additional information on how he is using his three decades of experience to keep his patients safe during COVID-19, please visit his website or give him a call at 804-288-0948.
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