Is it safe to go back to the dentist?

It certainly has been an interesting 9 weeks! It is important to realize that routine dental and medical care is important to reduce your susceptibility to disease, including COVID. As we begin to re emerge from stay at home orders there are certain things that will look and feel different, including dental facilities. So, is it safe to go back to the dentist? It is. Let me explain why.

Fortunately, our dental office, like most, uses a strict standard of universal precautions.  That means that we sterilize instruments, wipe all surfaces, etc as if we expect that every patient is infected or sick with a disease when they enter our office-because people may not tell us or they might not know that they are sick. This policy became more accepted and regimented post the 1980’s HIV epidemic.

Of course, this virus has definitely has made us re examine procedures with even more scrutiny and forced us to add upon our PPE and techniques. Because many of our procedures induce an aerosol spray, it is most important for our team to be protected more.  That is why you will see additional mask wear and plastic shields.  We are installing air filtration systems and will have evacuation systems that help to reduce the aerosol to our team.  We will continue to wipe down surfaces with protocols that kill the virus and mist operatories in the evening. However, the reality is that there is a much higher risk to our team than the patient.

We ALL need to remain vigilant and we should not become cavalier in our approaches. We all still should wear masks (to our office), we should maintain scrupulous hand washing techniques and keep social distancing techniques strong where able.   That means that our patients will see that we will keep patient schedules staggered so that there is little to no interactions with other patients.  As well, you will be advised to schedule as much dentistry as comfortable/ advisable at one visit.  Of course we will take your temperature upon entry and ask you MULTIPLE questions as a safeguard.  And, if you feel uncomfortable or need to ask about something, GO AHEAD, ask away!!

Everyone’s risk factors and emotional readiness are different. Now, more than ever, it is important for us all to support one another’s comfort levels and allow each other grace.  But, don’t put off the visits to the dentist for long. It is safe to go to the dentist, and your risk for developing challenging health implications will outweigh your risk for acquiring the virus at a dental office.

You can read more about additional precautions we are taking to keep you safe here.

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