One question family dentist Dr. Tamatha C. Pantano, DMD is frequently asked is “Is visiting my dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic safe?” This is only fair; after all, cases of new coronavirus infections around the world show no signs of slowing down.
While there’s always a risk of infection every time you step out of the house, it has to be understood that there are effective measures you can take to keep yourself safe. Trustworthy businesses also follow stringent protocols to ensure both customers and employees alike are protected from the virus.
In regard to dentists, clinics are directed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) to follow strict standards of cleanliness and infection control. This ensures their practices meet benchmarks for COVID-19 precautions. In short, it’s safe to see your dentist given stringent protocols, such as the following, are in place:
Screening: Everyone who enters the clinic is screened for COVID-19 symptoms via temperature checks and other types of tests.
Personal protective equipment (PPE): Wearing a face mask is required of everyone wishing to enter the clinic. Dental staff wears high-grade masks, face shields, isolation gowns, gloves, and other protective gear.
Regular disinfection: Clinics observe strict cleaning and disinfection practices, particularly in waiting areas and restrooms. Commonly touched items such as doorknobs, pens, and the like are also thoroughly cleaned.
Social distancing: Person-to-person contact is minimized by rearranging clinic waiting rooms and adjusting the check-in process.
Removal of unnecessary items: Nonessentials are removed from clinics to diminish the chances of the virus building up on surfaces.
Aerosol control: Clinics use special devices that reduce the number of particles released into the air during dental procedures.
Rubber dams: Dentists use rubber dams—thin membranes that isolate the teeth being treated from the rest of the mouth. This diminishes the risk of exposure to any pathogens during a procedure.
Reduction of patient traffic: Appointments are scheduled on a staggered basis to minimize patient traffic. Adults are required to come alone, and minors accompanied by one parent only.
Putting off dental treatment today can lead to more serious health issues in the future. Visiting a dentist amid a pandemic may seem risky, but this is something that has already been appropriately addressed by dental clinics around the U.S.
If you want more information on the steps Audubon Dental Center has taken to keep its patients safe, you can always contact us via our website or at (301) 856-1122. And if you’re wondering what kinds of treatments you can have with us, kindly examine our list of available services.