Seemingly overnight, the transmission of COVID-19 was rampant, and the pandemic became a worldwide concern. To combat the spread of this novel virus, social distancing, self-isolation, face coverings, and extensive hand hygiene were put in place to protect the public against dangerous symptoms. Thanks to infection control measures like these, many patients have made the transition into the “new normal” safely, but those who are most vulnerable are still understandably hesitant. Therefore, a dentist is addressing three common concerns of at-risk patients.
#1. How Can I Protect Myself and My Loved Ones from Contracting COVID-19?
For patients whose age or medical condition makes the symptoms associated with COVID-19 potentially life-threatening, limiting their potential exposure is vital. Fortunately, implementing additional safety measures into your routine can help protect both you and your loved ones. Therefore, make sure to:
- Practice thorough hand hygiene within your own home.
- Get your groceries and medications delivered.
- Wear a facemask when running errands.
- Use hand sanitizer when washing your hands isn’t an option, like in your car.
- Eat a vitamin-rich diet to help keep your immune system strong.
#2. Is It Safe for Me to Visit the Dentist?
Fortunately for patients, dentists have practiced extensive infection control long before 2020. In fact, a substantial portion of their education and advanced training is centered around that topic! However, in light of the current pandemic, dental teams across the U.S. are implementing additional safety measures to provide their patients and staff with an additional level of protection. With this in mind, you can expect the following dental safety protocols your next appointment:
- Additional personal protective equipment (i.e., face shields, disposable coats, etc.).
- Virtual waiting rooms to make social distancing a practical reality.
- Daily health checks for the dental team (i.e., no-contact temperature check, screening questions, etc.).
- Extensive sanitation measures (i.e., air filtration, proper hand hygiene, etc.).
#3. How Can I Stay Safe During my Routine Visit?
Since your oral health directly impacts your overall health, it is important to prioritize your routine visits to the dentist. To fully benefit from the significant safety and sanitation protocols they have put in place, it is important to do your part in creating a sterile, virus-free environment. Therefore, make sure to:
- Wash your hands before and after your appointment.
- Complete your oral care routine before your visit.
- Practice social distancing in their office.
- Wear a face mask when outside the treatment room.
If you are considered an at-risk patient, then knowing the extensive measures your dental team is taking to practice infection control can grant you peace of mind. That way, you can get the oral care you need without compromising your safety!
About the Author
Since graduating from the University of Michigan with her doctorate, Dr. Dina H. Cocco has spent the last three decades helping her patients achieve beautiful smiles and pristine oral health. Today, she continues to emphasize education by completing numerous hours of continuing education courses and becoming a member of multiple reputable organizations, including the American Association for Women Dentists. If you would like additional information on measures she is taking to keep her patients safe during COVID-19, visit her website or give her a call at 734-668-8636.