Gary Severance, DDS, Executive Leader of Professional Relations, Henry Schein Dental
(NAPSI)—As dental offices re-open across the nation, patients may be in for some pleasant surprises. For one thing, you can rest assured that there will be new protocols that help keep your dental visit safe and comfortable.
What Dentists Are Doing
Enhanced patient protection measures include: All dental team members have upgraded their protective gear. This includes appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all appointments. Between patients, dentists and their team will meticulously clean and disinfect surfaces and sterilize instruments.
Many dentists also offer a virtual waiting room. Patients can check in via text message and wait, if necessary, somewhere outside the clinic, such as in a car.
Patients and dental professionals are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors before each appointment.
To help make the air quality sanitary, many dentists have even invested in high-efficiency air purification systems.
What You Can Do
There are also certain steps you the patient can take to help keep everyone safe as well.
Here, from the experts at the American Dental Association, are some useful facts and tips:
Before your appointment, your dental office may call you to ask about your current health and travel records.
You may also be asked to limit the number of people you bring to the appointment. That could mean leaving your children at home or allowing older children go to the office alone while a parent waits outside.
At your appointment: Be sure to wear a mask, even if it’s not required and especially if your dentist’s office is in an area where one is required. When you get to the dental office, you may be asked to wait outside until they’re ready for you. This will reduce the number of people in the office and reduce the amount of time you’re exposed to other people. When you enter the office, be prepared to have your temperature taken or other health test. Inside the office, things people tend to touch in the waiting room—such as toys or magazines—may no longer be there. Hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves may be made available to you.
Once you’re in the dental chair, you may notice some things look different from the last time you were there. The dentist may have covered the computer’s keyboard with a disposable cover so it can be easily cleaned between patients, for example. Your dentist may also be using different protective equipment than you’ve seen at previous appointments, including different masks, face shields, gowns, gloves, and goggles.
After your appointment, the dental team members will thoroughly clean the area with disinfectant. If you start feeling symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of your appointment, contact the dental office. You may have already been carrying the virus at the time of your appointment, so anyone who came into contact with you during that time could be at risk for getting sick, too.
For further hints from the dental professionals who get equipment and information from Henry Schein, the world’s largest provider of health care solutions and services to office-based dental and medical professionals, go to www.henryschein.com/customerstories to watch Road to Recovery videos on how dentists are working on ways to reopen safely for everyone.