As COVID Numbers Rise, Is It Safe to Visit the Dentist?
With the numbers of COVID-19 on the rise in the United States, and in Colorado Springs, Colorado, we get this question a lot.
During the beginning of the pandemic, Dentists in Colorado Springs were told to cease all non-essential services. We were only allowed to see dental emergency-based patients for two months earlier in 2020.
As a result of that shutdown and the resultant delay in needed care, we have seen a significant worsening of patients’ oral health.
Now we are considered essential and can see patients for all appointments.
As this health pandemic has progressed, we have learned more about the virus. Ultimately, we were told we needed to change some things but keep a lot of our procedures the same.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, our team at Mountain Springs Advanced Dental in Colorado Springs, Colorado has always worn scrubs, gloves, masks, and glasses. However, since the pandemic, we have added lab coats, face shields, and head bonnets. We also now come into the office with street clothes and change into our scrubs and launder them here in the office.
Here, at Mountain Springs Advanced Dental, we have gone put an extra step in place and placed HEPA air filters in each treatment room in each of our treatment rooms as well as shut all openings to operatories to reduce as much aerosol spread as possible.
Also, we use high-suction evacuation systems while performing high aerosol procedures.
Overall, dentistry is just as important as going to your doctor for your annual checkups. Since the shutdown and lapse in regular dental exams, we have noticed a rise in gingivitis and the need for periodontal therapy. We have contributed the rise of these services to the stress of the COVID-19 health pandemic, lack of home hygiene, and patients not being able to come in for their regular bi-annual cleanings and check-ups.
Not getting your teeth cleaned regularly can lead to other health problems and extra dental work.
Our office has strict procedures in place during this COVID time. We have longer appointment times for hygiene procedures to allow for the least amount of aerosols being produced.
As a result of this our hygiene appointments are booked 4-6 weeks out. We have also reduced the number of patients we see in a day to keep up with social distancing guidelines as well as giving rooms that have used aerosols the chance to settle down. We check each patient and staff members’ temperature and have everyone sign screening forms asking COVID related questions.
We also require all people who enter our office to wear a facial covering until they are seated in the dental chair. We want everyone to feel safe in our office and to make sure they are taking care of their dental needs.
With all this being said, we truly feel that we are doing everything we possibly can to keep our patients, our staff, and our families safe.