The coronavirus pandemic has caused major concern for individuals in need of cleanings, fillings, and other dental procedures. In March, the ADA recommended that all dentists postpone appointments with the exception of emergency procedures to reduce the spread of the virus. In May, states started to reopen and many dental practices are welcoming back patients. However, that doesn’t mean that the risk is gone. While restrictions against routine dental care have loosened in many areas of the U.S., it is still essential for patients to follow safety guidelines to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission when visiting the dentist.
Ask About New Procedures
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, dentists are altering their protocols to help prevent the spread of the virus. Speak with your dentist office about what they are doing to keep patients safe. Some of the most common changes being made in local Clermont dental offices include the following:
- Staff may wear masks or face shields
- Patients may be asked to practice social distancing or remain six feet apart in the waiting room
- Patients’ temperature may be taken upon arrival
- Clients may be asked questions about possible exposure to the virus
- Dentists may use rubber dental dams on patients during treatment
Most local dentists are also participating in more stringent cleaning in the office, waiting room, and exam room. To prevent the spread of the virus, your dentist will likely disinfect surfaces and tools more often, wear more protective gear than usual, and clean and replace tools between uses.
Dentists may also space out appointments to prevent having too many patients in the waiting room at once. You may be asked to wear a face mask when entering the building and while sitting in the waiting room. Planning ahead may be needed as the office may have a policy about how many people you can bring with you to your appointment. So, you may be asked to limit the number of people you bring with you and to wait outside until they are ready for you.
Perform a Self-Check Before Your Dentist Appointment
Even if you are not feeling under the weather, always perform a self-check before traveling to any public space where COVID-19 transmission is possible. Start by checking your temperature. Fever is a possible symptom of COVID-19 and may appear between two and 14 days after exposure to the virus. Also be aware of other possible symptoms such as chills, cough, fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting, congestion, runny nose, or diarrhea.
Wear a Mask and Practice Social Distancing
The CDC recommends that people continue wearing masks in public settings, especially when social distancing measures are challenging to maintain. Masks have been found helpful in preventing the spread of COVID-19 when widely used in public settings. However, masks should not be worn by children under age two or anyone who has breathing difficulties. When visiting a dentist, patients should also try to maintain at least a six feet minimum distance from other people.
Delaying Routine Dental Procedures
As of early July, both the CDC and the World Health Organization reported that there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 transmitted in dental offices. Although many dentists are now open for routine appointments, some patients may choose to delay their appointments until a further date. However, it is important to contact your dentist if you face certain types of dental emergencies that could negatively affect your health.
Call your Clermont dentist if you experience:
- Dental pain
- A broken tooth or crown
- Bleeding that won’t stop
- Signs of infection, such as pain or swelling
In the meantime, continue caring for your teeth. Make sure to brush twice a day for a full two minutes, each time using a fluoridated toothpaste. Also, floss at least once per day. Maintain a healthy diet low in sugar to minimize the risk of tooth decay. Also avoid acidic beverages that can harm the enamel on your teeth.
Speak with a Dentist in Clermont
Going to the dentist during a pandemic can be a little nerve-wracking. However, it is important to know you’re in good hands. Your dentist in Clermont, Fl is following all protocols and procedures outlined by the CDC to keep you and your family safe. For more information or to book an appointment, contact Hancock Village Dental today.