To begin with, dental clinics with were known for their immaculate hygiene practices and strict safety protocols. You would always find your dentists in a white lab coat, wearing gloves, a surgical mask and protective goggles to prevent the risk of transmitting germs to the patient or getting infected from them. Each instrument would be sterilized and the disposables would be disposed off post every dental appointment.
Due to CoVid these safety precautions have further been enhanced – in fact dentists are only seeing critical patients with dental emergencies while adhering to stringent safety protocols.
Many of you must be plagued with multiple covid dental questions – during covid 19, dental offices reopening? How to maintain good covid dental health? Can I get covid from dentist? During covid, dental visit risk? How have covid dental visits changed? What are the covid 19 dental mask requirements? Through our article, we will try and answer some of these.
What dental emergency would require a dentist visit?
There are some things that you can take care of on your own, but during covid, dental symptoms that are uncontrollable or urgent dental emergencies will require you to visit the clinic include:
Signs and Symptoms :
- Severe infection or abscess in the gum
- Teeth or jaw pain that isn’t subsiding with OTC pain medication
- A broken tooth
- Incessant bleeding
- Any facial or oral injury
How have CoVid dental visits changed?
- Most dental clinics have made it mandatory to take a prior appointment before a visit. This is to ensure that they can space out patients to minimize contact and adhere to safety protocols
- When an appointment is taken, a telephonic screening is done – you are asked a few questions to understand your exposure to CoVid and if you would be eligible for the appointment, A time is then allotted to you
- Only limited number of appointments are given per day to ensure that patients are not exposed to each other and also for the general safety of all
- At the time of arrival, your temperature, pulse and Aarogya Setu app will be checked and a CoVid dental questionnaire is filled
- Some dentists will provide you with protective shoe gear to prevent germs from entering the premises, gloves and head gear
- The clinics are taking details of your medical and travel history in order to assess the risk & exposure to CoVid -19 before rendering the treatment
- Increased sanitation through thorough disinfection of the chairs and non-disposable items
- Just like any frontline work you will find the dentists in full PPE kits which include the full body suits, hairnets, face shields, gloves and masks. All this changed after each appointment to prevent cross contamination & in accordance with safety guidelines
What can you do to help dentists during this time?
Dental clinics are going out of their way to provide services while ensuring top notch safety for your well being as well as for themselves and the clinic staff. You must do your bit to give this top priority
- Reach on time, try not to be late and overlap with someone else’s time
- Be honest about your disclosures while booking the appointment & in the self-declaration sheet when you reach
- Ideally go alone unless of course you have dependents or children
- Try to abstain from wearing earrings, rings, watches etc. that can increase surface exposure
- Wear a mask, sanitize and maintain distance from other patients
- Take a prior appointment in order to follow safety protocols
- Do online payments rather than paying in cash
- Maintain good oral hygiene in order to prevent a visit
How should I keep my teeth healthy during COVID-19?
With so much happening around us, we may tend to neglect our dental health. Do not do that, good oral health impacts other bodily functions as well. A few tips to maintain good oral hygiene at home:
- Sanitize or Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds prior to and post any personal dental care
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and make sure to get to the hard-to-reach spots
- Floss once a day to remove bacteria and prevent plaque in areas where the brush doesn’t reach
- Drink plenty of water & stick to a well-balanced diet devoid of sticky, starchy and sugary snacks like cake, cookies and sweets. Even limit the consumption of soda and sugary drinks
- Limit your snacking as frequent snacking can increase the risk of cavities
- Drink plenty of water with meals and in-between meals
- Please avoid smoking as it limits your blood flow in the mouth leading to a bacteria breeding ground
In case of a dental emergency reach out to your dentist for advice. They are not treating non-emergency procedures but in case of an emergency they make the required arrangement. When in doubt, give your dentist a shout-out!!