To stay safe it’s the main goal during the pandemic time. Read this article for a better understanding of why is safe to go to the dentist during COVID-19, and how to assume if the dental practice is safe enough.
In action to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States (and in the World), in March 2020, CDC advised that oral settings must focus on immediate and emergency situations and delay optional check-ups and procedures to secure personnel and protect individual protective equipment and client care supplies, also, to broaden offered medical facility capability.
However, as the pandemic continues to develop, and healthcare settings are reacting to unique scenarios in their communities, the CDC recognizes that dental settings may also require to deliver non-emergency dental care.
CDC has developed a structure for health care personnel and healthcare systems for shipment of non-emergent care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
DHCP (Dental Healthcare Providers) ought to frequently consult their state oral boards and state or regional health departments to present local details for requirements specific to their jurisdictions, including recognizing the degree of neighborhood transmission and impact region-specific recommendations.
COVID-19 is a new illness, and we are still learning about how it spreads and the seriousness of illness it triggers. The virus has been revealed to continue aerosols for hours, and on some surfaces for days under laboratory conditions.
The dentistry practice includes the usage of rotary oral and surgical instruments, such as handpieces or ultrasonic scalers and air-water syringes. These instruments develop a noticeable spray that can consist of particle droplets of water, saliva, blood, microorganisms, and other particles. Surgical masks protect mucous membranes of the mouth and nose from droplet spatter. However, they do not provide complete defense against the inhalation of airborne transmittable agents.
Dentist during COVID-19: Is it safe?
Since transmission patterns can change, DHCP (Dental Healthcare Provider) should stay upgraded about regional transmission trends. If your community is experiencing very little to moderate or substantial transmission, keep in mind that dental care can be supplied to patients without suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
The answer is YES, go to the Dentist during COVID-19 pandemic is safe enough. But you must consider some essential factors that will help you make the safest choice for you and your familiars.
Be sure your Dentist follows the below-mentioned procedures to reduce your risks:
Every patient will receive a telephone triage (Yourself included) where the DHCP (Dental Healthcare Provider) investigates if the patient had any relevant symptoms connected with COVID-19 and if he/she has been in risky situations in the past 30 days.
DHCP must recommend patients that they, and anyone accompanying them to the appointment, will be requested to wear a fabric face covering or facemask when going into the facility and will go through screening for fever and signs consistent with COVID-19.
If you are accepted to book an appointment without any telephone triage, we would say this is not so safe.
EMPTY (OR ALMOST) WAITING ROOM
It would be best if you are waiting for your appointment in an empty waiting room. It is well known that crowded places might be hazardous for contagious. That’s why your Dentist will organize the appointments to keep social distance also in the waiting room.
If you are in the room with more people, try to keep social distancing or ask the secretary if you can go out for a walk and come back when it’s your turn.
DISINFECTION AND DECONTAMINATION OF ALL SURFACES
Between one patient and the next one, the room and all the surfaces must be completely disinfected and sanitized. You can never be sure about this procedure, but you trust your DHCP, it means you believe that all the procedures will be performed before you are accepted in the room from your Dentist during COVID-19.
DHCP must perform hand hygiene right away previously and after any contact with the facemask or cloth face covering.
If your dentist is touching constantly the facemask and other contaminated surfaces without a mask and without sanitizing his hands, then we would say this is not completely safe.
1 MINUTE MOUTHWASH RINSE
In general, it is considered an excellent procedure at the Dentist during COVID-19 to let every patient use mouthwash rinse for one minute before starting the treatment to lower the virus in the oral district. It can potentially reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
A dental dam is an excellent tool used to perform conservative treatments, and not only.
At the Dentist during COVID-19, the dental dam became even more essential because it helps to work in a much safer environment.
DHCP FURTHER REQUIREMENTS
DHCP must receive training on and show an understanding of:
- When to utilize PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
- What PPE is needed
- How to properly wear, utilize, and doff PPE in a manner to prevent self-contamination
- How to correctly get rid of or decontaminate and maintain PPE
- The limitations of PPE.
Oral facilities must guarantee that any multiple-use PPE is correctly cleaned up, decontaminated, and kept after and between usages.
Trust your Dentist. He is going to follow all these procedures to keep you safe 100%!
DHCP must use during procedures most likely to generate splashing or spattering of blood or other body fluids. Throughout, DHCP ought to use an N95 respirator or a respirator that provides a higher level of protection such as other disposable filtering facepiece respirators, PAPRs, or elastomeric respirators, if offered. Respirators should be utilized in the context of a respiratory protection program that includes medical examinations, training, and shape testing.
If a respirator is not available for an aerosol-generating treatment, use both a surgical mask and a full-face guard. Ensure that the mask is cleared by the United States Fda (FDA) as a surgical mask external icon.
If you see doctors and workers in the DHCP without facemask and PPE, then we would say this is not completely safe.
Aerosol-generating procedures should be avoided (e.g., use of dental handpieces, air/water syringe, and ultrasonic scalers). If aerosol-generating procedures need to be carried out, the Dentist must take precautions. DHCP in the space needs to use an N95 or higher-level respirators, such as a non-reusable filtering facepiece respirator, powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR), or elastomeric respirator, in addition to eye security (safety glasses or a full-face shield), gloves, and a dress.
NO VISITORS DURING TREATMENTS
It would be best if visitors should not exist for the treatment. Dental treatment needs to be provided in an individual patient room with a closed door. If the place is crowded with two or more people (assistant, dental technician, secretary, etc.), keep in mind that the situation might be a little bit risky.
Unfortunately, if you are stressed and scared of the treatment, no one can hold your hand at the Dentist during COVID-19. You can still read our article on how to fight Dental anxiety!
Read twice all the precautions mentioned above and be sure your DHCP is following all of them and even more. If you feel something is wrong for your safety, talk clearly with your Dentist and explain your doubts to him.
Dentist during COVID-19 is a safe place. If you are having trouble with your teeth, feel safe to book an appointment and start your journey to the healing process.
Somehow, the best choice you can do (especially in this pandemic) is to properly take care of your teeth following a correct daily oral hygiene routine and nutrition.
Learn how to get rid of cavities, which are the best daily routine habits to follow, and get Dental Coach on your smartphone to track your performance.
Be conscious of your oral health is the first step toward a white and healthy smile.