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Visiting the Dentist in The Time of COVID-19

COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our day-to-day lives. Social distancing is necessary but has substantial physical, mental, and emotional consequences. Statistics show that nearly 45% of US citizens have reported their mental health has been negatively impacted as a result of the pandemic due to worrying about the virus and its impact on their lives.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise if you know that social distancing was practiced even before the lockdown. Plus, with the introduction of lockdown and the contact between people became even fewer, you can get the idea about how damaging these circumstances can be for people.

One of the lesser discussed impacts on health caused by the pandemic is the impact on oral health. The pandemic led to the shutdown of many businesses, including dental practices that offer essential dental treatment in Sedona and throughout the nation. For more information, you can visit Peak Family Dental Care.  So, you can see how many problems this global pandemic caused in a plethora of different ways, both personal and business. You can see how damaging they are.

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While some states are slowly opening up again, dental visits will likely not be the same. The post-COVID-19 era is now being defined as the “New Normal.” In other words, until the virus is totally eradicated, or a vaccine is developed, the world’s population’s interactions with each other, including medical professionals, will never be the same again.

Everyone knows what kind of contacts are made during a visit to the dentist. Therefore, some would argue that this is one of the dangerous types of doctor visits that can have some consequences if all of the measures of protection have not been undertaken during each visit. So, it’s an absolute must to know what are the exact measure that needs to be fulfilled.

Below we will discuss changes you may see when you visit the dentist in the era of COVID-19.

What to expect before your appointment?

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You will be discouraged from visiting your dentist if you are showing any symptoms currently associated with COVID-19. This is something that doesn’t require any kind of explanation since it’s pretty clear that the protection of dentists and their patients should be at the highest possible level.

It is essential to contact your dentist’s rooms to reschedule your appointment if you think that you might have a sinus infection or even a common cold. Also, the dentist’s receptionist will more than likely phone you a day or two in advance to ask you if you are experiencing any physical health symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus.

Secondly, you will likely not be able to take anyone with you to your appointment. In fact, it is best to expect your dentist will no longer have a waiting room in their practice. You will be expected to arrive on time and be the only patient in the practice. This is an important part since we are talking about the concept of social distancing.

While these restrictions may seem unfair or unnecessary, they are part of the social distancing requirements to reduce and eradicate the virus’s spread. This is a time of solidarity and giving one small part of your own rights and freedom in order to help the society to overcome all of these problems.

If the patient experiences some of these symptoms two days before the actual appointment, this information should be passed to the dental office. The reason is that this virus can transfer from person to person in a matter of seconds. So, having an infected patient at the dental office increases the risk of infecting someone else. It’s needless to say that the patient will have its procedure rescheduled to some date after the virus is long gone.

What to expect during your appointment?

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Even if it is not mandatory, it is a good idea to wear a mask for your appointment. You won’t be able to wear it during your appointment, but research has shown that wearing a mask limits the possible spread of the virus. In most cases, your temperature will be taken at the outset of your appointment. Again, this is one of the accepted norms in determining the possibility that you might be carrying the virus and not know it.

It should be said that all the things you can see in every waiting room, like newspapers or toys, will be removed for the time being. The reason is that these things are often touched by people. Since we are talking about protection from a dangerous virus, you can be sure that this is one of the best types of prevention. Surely, the hands will need to be sanitized before the patient enters the building.

Finally, your dentist will more than likely be wearing additional PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), and everything superfluous to the primary function of attending to your teeth will either be covered or removed. This is to ensure that all areas can be cleaned to prevent the virus from remaining on any surfaces.

What to expect after your appointment?

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After the procedure is finished, then the staff will need to clean all the areas and surfaces, in order to make it ready for the next appointment. In case you learned about all the ways this virus can travel from person to person, this precaution makes perfect sense. These will enhance the level of protection every patient is going to receive when needed.

Final thoughts

It’s essential to note that while your dentist’s office might look very different from what you are used to, and your dentist and staff will probably be wearing a full set of PPE, they are still approachable. And, should you have any questions or concerns, it is important to mention them before or during your appointment.

This is a time where all the people in the world need to be extra careful in order to protect our general health. Since this virus is pretty invasive, you can expect from all the precautions to be pretty rigid. However, that shouldn’t impact any kind of service anyone would receive from the dentists. In fact, there is absolutely no reason for something like that. So, it needs to be said that all of us need to be extra careful during these hard times.

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