During the time of COVID-19, it can be difficult to know which locations are safe and where you are at risk for contracting the virus. However, just because we are living through a pandemic doesn’t mean that your oral health should be neglected. The good news is that your dentist is using additional personal protective equipment and has implemented other COVID-19 safety protocols in order to keep the team and patients safe. Read on to learn what they are.
What Types of Personal Protective Equipment Are Being Used?
Your dental staff always uses PPE to keep patients safe. This has just been amped up as a result of the pandemic. Here are four different types of PPE that your dentist is using:
- Surgical Masks: Your dentist always uses a surgical mask when working in patients’ mouths. However, they are more important now than ever. They serve as a protective barrier to prevent the spread of germs that can travel through droplets in the air.
- Gloves: In addition to frequent handwashing, dentists are also wearing disposable gloves when working closely with patients. Again, this is nothing new for your dental team and the gloves are disposed of after each patient.
- Protective Clothing: When necessary, your dental team will be wearing another protective layer of clothing over their scrubs in order to minimize the spread of particles. This includes protective coats and hats.
- Face Shields: In addition to using a mask to limit the spread of illnesses, the clinical team at the dental office will also be using FDA approved PET face shields as additional forms of protection.
How Else Is Your Dentist Protecting Patients?
Your dentist is taking an additional 22 steps to protect patients from contracting COVID-19 during the pandemic. Here are just a few of them:
- HEPA Air Filtration: Your dental practice’s HVAC system is regularly serviced and HEPA filters are in place. There are also two standalone UV-C air purifiers in each operatory, and additional purifiers are located strategically in the halls of the office.
- Daily Team Health Screenings: Every day, when the team comes into the office, they are given a set of questions and a no-contact temperature check to ensure that everyone is able, ready, and willing to provide safe care to patients.
- Virtual Waiting Room: Instead of needing to wait in the waiting room for your appointment to begin, now you can check in from your car! Just call your dental team to let them know that you’ve arrived, and you will be able to go directly to your treatment room when they’re ready.
- Patient Pre-Screening: A health questionnaire and temperature check is completed when patients arrive for treatment.
- Anti-Microbial Rinse: In addition to brushing and flossing, your dentist will provide you with an Oracare solution for you to rinse your mouth with to reduce bacteria.
Living through a pandemic is difficult, but this doesn’t mean that skipping your dental appointments is the answer. With so many new COVID-19 safety protocols, you can receive dental care knowing that you’re in good hands.
About the Author
Dr. Ryan Thomas earned his dental doctorate from the New York University School of Dentistry and has pursued advanced education since then. He continues to log over 200 hours of continuing education each year to keep his knowledge and skills sharp. For more information on COVID-19 safety protocols or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (469) 444-6500.