Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist During COVID-19?
By: Jenny Jandrin, Professional Services Manager
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the ways we live and work. With our day-to-day tasks modified and health concerns at an all-time high, many are wondering, “is it safe to go to the dentist during COVID-19?”.
At Dental Associates' clinics, it is safe to go to the dentist during COVID-19.
Our clinics have always followed strict infection control and cleanliness standards, but we’ve heightened our practices due to COVID-19. We follow direction from reputable organizations including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) to ensure our practices are up to industry standards for COVID-19 precautions.
You may have seen an article from the World Health Organization recommending patients to put off nonessential dental care until COVID-19 settles. However, it’s important to remember that infection control standards are different in other parts of the world compared to the U.S., which is why we take direction from national organizations such as the CDC and ADA rather than international groups. Read the ADA's response to the WHO's article.
It is indeed safe to visit Dental Associates during COVID-19 for both essential and nonessential care because of our strict protocols. Read on to learn more about visiting the dentist during this time.
Dental Appointment Safety During COVID-19
We have many protocols in place to ensure your safety during COVID-19:
- Screening. Everyone goes through COVID-19 symptom screening and has their temperature taken upon entering our clinics.
- Masking. Anyone entering our clinics is required to wear a mask. We will provide you one at your visit if you don’t have one.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Our teams are utilizing additional PPE to include isolation gowns, impervious lab coats, face shields, higher-level masks, gloves, and specialized products and equipment to control aerosols.
- Rubber dams. A rubber dam is a thin sheet your dentist can use during a procedure to help isolate one or more teeth from the remainder of the mouth, thus mitigating exposure.
- Aerosol-mitigation devices. We’ve implemented the use of special devices that reduce the particles produced during hygiene cleanings and other procedures. Learn more about these devices.
- Social distancing. Our waiting rooms have been rearranged and our clinics have modified their check-in process to minimize contact.
- Cleaning. In addition to standard infection control protocols, we’ve enhanced our cleaning practices, especially in our waiting rooms, bathrooms, and high-touch surfaces like pens and iPads.
- Removal of nonessential items. We’ve removed nonessential items from waiting rooms and operatories to mitigate surfaces for germ accumulation.
- Reduced traffic. Appointment times are staggered to reduce traffic. We are requesting that adult patients arrive unaccompanied and minors are accompanied by only one guardian.
Risks of Putting Off Dental Care
Delaying dental care can lead to increased issues down the road that can be detrimental to your health (and costly, too!). While it can seem risky to visit the dentist during COVID-19, it can be even riskier to put off care that will lead to more serious oral health issues in the future. Since Dental Associates clinics follow strict and enhanced safety and decontamination protocols, it’s much safer to visit the dentist for care rather than to delay it and exacerbate dental issues.
The Dental Associates Safe Visit Pledge
Dental Associates pledges to keep you and your family safe whenever you enter one of our clinics. That’s why we’ve created our Safe Visit Pledge to ensure our strict safety standards and disinfection protocols are always upheld in our clinics. Learn more here: Safe Visit Pledge
If you have questions about your next dental cleaning or aren’t sure what to expect, our teams are happy to answer any questions. Please call your Dental Associates clinic to speak to a member of our team. We look forward to serving you safely!
Meet Jenny Jandrin
Jenny Jandrin is the Professional Services Manager at Dental Associates. With over 20 years of in-clinic experience, Jenny has served in a variety of roles including dental assistant, safety coordinator, clinic supervisor, and practice manager. In her current role, Jenny ensures our 14 clinics adhere to strict standards set forth by the CDC, OSHA, ASAP, ADA, and other health care organizations to ensure the safest experience and best outcomes for our patients.