Lockdown restrictions may have eased a little but that doesn’t mean everyone can now be complacent and forget about the health protocols that the World Health Organization recommended earlier in the year, at the onset of the pandemic. And as dental clinics begin to reopen, Dr. Tamatha C. Pantano, DMD, a family dentist that serves the residents of Clinton, MD and nearby areas, reminds patients that dental visits aren’t what they used to be before the pandemic.
As mentioned above, the health and safety protocols that the WHO and CDC recommend for the public should still be followed, and that means dentists and staff at dental clinics must wear protective gear while at work (mask, gloves, face shield, or personal protective equipment).
As for changes in dental appointments, here are a few of them:
1. Walk-ins aren’t allowed
There was a time when patients can immediately pay their dentist a visit for an emergency extraction or other procedure; nowadays, it isn’t as simple anymore. Patients need to make an appointment first before going to the dentist, and they must strictly follow the schedule as this allows the clinic to space each patient visit accordingly. This prevents crowding at the facility thus making it easier to follow physical distancing.
2. Health check first before your appointment
On the day of your appointment, you should expect a call from the clinic to ask about your health; specifically, if you’ve been experiencing any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19. A mere cough or slight fever is enough for the clinic to cancel your appointment, shares Dr. Pantano.
It’s also your responsibility to inform the clinic if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms or you’re feeling sick before your appointment.
3. Patients must wear protective gear
While you may not be required to wear the full personal protective gear, you are required to at least wear a face mask that properly covers your chin, mouth, and nose. If you are wearing the “wrong” mask, you may be denied entry to the clinic and requested to re-schedule your appointment. To avoid the inconvenience of rescheduling and leaving your appointment schedule empty (time that could have been given to another patient), make sure to ask the clinic the type of protective gear they require.
Remember that dental clinics are following CDC recommendations, too, regarding dental visits and routine dental procedures, so in consideration of this, it’s best to cooperate with them for everyone’s safety.
Got questions? Feel free to contact Audubon Dental Center at (301) 856-1122.