Is It Safe to go Back to the Dentist?
Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures. Rockford dentist Thomas Chung, DDS has increased the layers of protective equipment he and his staff wears when treating patients.
Earlier this year as tension and worldwide concerns of COVID-19 infections were on at all time high, many businesses were asked to close in efforts to prevent the spread. Businesses had to modify the way they do business by encouraging employees to work-from-home, host virtual meetings, or even worse – lay offs.
In the efforts made by our nation to control spread, some businesses are deemed "essential" including dental offices. Despise the efforts for businesses and dental offices to remain open, in March the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control advised dentists to limit their practice to emergency care only.
The idea behind this was to still allow dentists to be able to treat serious cases of tooth pain and infections, in hopes that those patients will stay away from hospital emergency rooms, where the higher risk of infection was present and medical staff were busy trying to treat coronavirus patients. During this time, the protective gear dentist and other heath care workers needed was in short supply – making routine dental checkups and cleanings non essential.
There is good news! Recently restrictions against routine dental care have been loosen in many places and states. So the question is: Is it really safe to go to the dentist now?
There's Safety in Knowledge and Preparation
Dental practices are required to operate by set guidelines and rules mandated by the American Dental Association and state health codes. Therefore, getting a cleaning or tooth extraction has already been considered "safe" when the proper precautions and health guidelines have been in practice.
Face masks, gowns, gloves and sanitation of dental equipment and rooms have always been in place. The differences you may experience today when visiting a dentist depend on the type of treatment and new policies the dental office itself has put in place.
For example, at The Teeth People, we ask patients to wait in the parking lot and call before entering our office. We're also spacing out appointment times to limit the number of people in our office at one time. This keeps our staff safe and gives us more time to clean and properly sanitize patient rooms and equipment used.
Temperature checks and face shields are also in place. We're checking temperature of our patients as well as our whole staff.
While standard practices has always been in place, dentist office The Teeth People, has taken it a step further. New equipment such as a 4-stage filtration device and air purifiers have been installed throughout the office. You can read more about our upgrades here.
No Cases of COVID-19 Traced to Dental Offices so far
Both the World Heath Organization and the CDC have said there's been no confirmed cases of COVID transmitted in a dental office so far. As dental offices are in sync with the ADA and CDC in following guidelines for dental practices, you can feel reassured dentists are taking this matter seriously and welcome patients back for routine care.
At The Teeth People, lots of procedures are in place for the safety of our patients and staff. Cleaning and sanitization are enforced and routine. Everyone is wearing masks and face shields for when working on a patient. Hand sanitizer is readily available and encouraged to be used when entering and leaving our office.
Patients Feeling Secure
Since we reopened and announced routine dental care is now back in action, our calendar has been seeing a surge in dental treatments – from cleanings, tooth extractions, and root canals – our patients know we truly care and want what's best for them. Which was the reason why we decided to close for a temporary time back in March. We wanted to make sure we were well informed and how to best handle the situation before welcoming patients back.
It takes a team effort. We all have important responsibilities. Please inform us or your dentist before or on the day of your appointment if you're feeling sick in any way. We will work with you and reschedule if necessary. Remember, we're all in this together – if you're sick, stay home.
With the school season right around the corner, appointments have certainly skyrocketed, and in reality, people just needed to see their dentist while they were in quarantine.
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We are ready to provide you with the best & safe dental care in the Rockford area.