Trying not to panic when experiencing a dental emergency is hard enough. Add the realization of going to a dentist’s office to receive care amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and you may be tempted to just stay at home. The reality, however, is that dental offices throughout the country are going beyond the standard sanitizing guidelines they must follow day-to-day and are adhering to additional protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other healthcare organizations. If you are wondering how dental offices are staying safe and clean during the COVID-19 pandemic, read on to find out.
Before a patient is allowed to visit the dental office, team members are performing pre-screens over the phone when making an appointment. After inquiring about the patient’s health and if they have been sick recently or are currently displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19, the team will recommend the appropriate course of action. It will either be to schedule an appointment to come in for treatment or provide helpful instructions so the patient can treat their problem at home.
Wearing Appropriate PPE
It is not uncommon to see a dentist or dental hygienist wear protective eyewear and a mask during a visit but because of COVID-19, staff members are now wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes gloves, facial masks and/or shield, a disposable gown, and protective eyewear. This reduces the risk of possible transmission from patients to staff and vice versa.
Providing Identifiable Signage for Patient Instruction
From proper hand washing techniques to maintaining appropriate social distancing guidelines, dental offices are now placing signage where it is easily seen by patients. Also, your dentist may be providing masks and tissues should you require one during your visit.
Practicing Additional Sanitizing and Disinfecting
Because dentistry requires working within a patient’s mouth, all instruments and equipment must be thoroughly sanitized and disinfected after every use. Currently, dentists are being instructed to use as many single-use items as possible; however, when that is not feasible, staff members must adhere to manufacturing instructions regarding how to effectively clean the object before it can be reused.
If during this time you experience a dental emergency, you have nothing to fear by seeing your dentist for help. Trust that they are taking every precaution to keep you and their staff secure so that everyone can return home safely.
About the Practice
Dr. John Ludu is a dentist in North Phoenix who cares about your health and safety. He and the team at Devoted Family Dental are taking extra precautions to maintain a clean and safe environment for all visitors, making sure to thoroughly disinfect, sanitize, and clean all instruments, equipment, and surfaces while adhering to additional guidelines from national healthcare organizations. Should you require an emergency visit, contact us at (623) 444-6222. We want you to feel confident and comfortable receiving immediate care during this time.