As someone with family members who are high-risk for COVID-19 complications, you’ve been doing your part to reduce your risk of infection by working from home, washing your hands often, and wearing a mask on the few occasions when you leave the house. One day, out of nowhere, you feel a sharp pain in your tooth. Since you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you suspect it’s a cavity. But is it even safe to visit the dentist these days? Absolutely! Keep reading below to learn a few of the precautions your dental team is taking to ensure your safety and comfort.
Evaluating Team Members’ Health Daily
Every morning when your dentist’s team members arrive at the office, they’ll each be required to answer a few questions regarding the current state of the health. These questions might involve asking whether they have any COVID-19 symptoms or whether they have recently been in contact with someone who does. If a team member’s health isn’t up to par, they will be promptly sent home to quarantine.
Designating a Daily Safety Champion
Each day, a different member of your dentist’s team will be randomly selected to act as that day’s Safety Champion. This job entails making sure everyone in the office is following safety guidelines by enforcing social distancing, as well as answering questions and greeting patients.
Changing Work Clothes at Work
In the old days, you may have seen your dentist or hygienist out and about, still wearing their scrubs while going grocery shopping or grabbing a bite to eat. That’s not the case anymore. Recent research has suggested that changing into work clothes and then commuting to the office can track unwanted outside germs into the building, increasing the likelihood of infection patients and staff. For this reason, your dental team will change into and out of their scrubs at the office.
Wearing Increased PPE
No longer will your dentist simply wash their hands and put on a new mask and fresh pair of gloves before your appointment. To effectively reduce the risk of infection, they’ll be wearing more personal protective equipment (PPE) than they used to. Some examples of this additional PPE include shoe and hair coverings, double or triple face masks, face shields, and surgical gowns.
Whether you’re suffering through an intense toothache or simply want to attend a regular checkup and cleaning, rest assured your dentist will keep you safe while you’re under their care.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Young is a dentist in Manahawkin, NJ who graduated at the top of his class from the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry. He has achieved Fellowships with both the Academy of General Dentistry and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. In addition to the precautionary measures described in this post, his practice follows several other guidelines to ensure his patients’ safety and comfort during their appointments. To learn more about these precautions, visit Dr. Young’s website or call 609-597-1830.