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  DENTISTRY AFTER THE PANDEMIC

May 1st, 2020

From the desk of Dr. Fass

We’re still seeing our everyday lives turned upside down and trying to fall into new, protective routines for our collective health.  Many of the common activities have become transformed like grocery shopping with masks, gloves, and social distancing.   Your dental visits will be similarly somewhat different.

Dental health is critical for overall health. For instance, we know that chronic gum disease or tooth infection can affect your body’s immune response.  Just another predisposing factor for something like a viral infection.  We need to have our patients back on a routine dental visit schedule to ensure their dental well being.  But things will change, both short term and perhaps longer term.  You might notice there are no children’s toys or any magazines in the reception area.  These are too difficult to disinfect in the current situation.  You’ve undoubtedly seen plexiglass barriers going up everywhere.  I’m afraid we’ll be no exception.  We need to ensure the health of our staff as well as those we serve.

Dentistry has some truly unique aspects too.  It’s pretty obvious that you can’t wear a face mask during dental treatment, so we need to isolate the mouth as much as possible with a rubber dam or another device to minimize water and saliva aerosols.  An antibiotic mouth rinse might also be in order for your procedure.  Personal protective equipment has been standard for dental care for many decades.  Likely there will be an increased vigilance with personal gear for all our staff as well as careful attention to disinfection and sterilization procedures which have been our standard as well.

Even before coming for your appointment there will be an increased screening over the phone to ensure everyone entering the office is healthy.  No patients will be able to just walk in without prior screening.  It is very critical that you answer all health questions honestly and completely.  When you do enter, additional screening procedures will also be in place in the form of additional health questionnaires and perhaps temperature checks.

It’s too soon to elaborate all the safeguards that will be in place when the office reopens.  Suffice it to say that there is no evidence at this time that dental offices have been or will be a center of infection in the current pandemic.  Our profession has always been at the forefront of promoting proper public health and addressing our patients’ concerns.

 

Be well and STAY SAFE!

For information on other topics, visit our web site at AltamontGeneralDentistry.com

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