Covid and Dental Care Q&A
A few weeks ago, we had some questions posed to us through social media pertaining to protective measures in the office for COVID. We wanted to share these questions and attempt to answer them.
- Will your office have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure both dentists and patient families are safe?
This is a great question. Since March, the office has been identifying supply sources for all of our PPE. Given the demand on PPE from the pandemic, we have had to expand whom we normally procure items from. As a rule, we have at least 45 days worth of PPE on hand. This allows us to ensure every patient’s safety, along with our staff protection.
- Can I resume routine dental care? What constitutes an emergency vs normal care?
When the office was closed back in April and May, we had very strict guidance from the state governor’s office as to the type of treatment that was able to be conducted. In short, only urgent (emergency) care could be provided. The definition of emergency care is: conditions that are or could easily cause pain or infection. We expand this definition to include teeth that may be chipped, broken or have had a crown fall off. Other emergencies could include severe muscle pain or headaches.
Now however, it is understood that routine dental procedures are safe to have done. With correct PPE used, the risk of dental procedures can be reduced from Moderate – High to Low. Given that we cannot predict the nature of the COVID pandemic, it is best to be preemptive with treatment. Failure to address preventative care could result in an emergency situation later. We all would like to avoid emergency visits.
- As a parent during these uncertain times, how can I best prepare my child for a dental visit?
We think it is important to discuss with your child what is going to happen prior to any dental visit. We can help with that dialogue before the visit even happens. This is important, regardless of a COVID pandemic. However, in these times, it is also imperative to discuss how we all might look a little different. Children should know that we will be wearing masks during the entire visit, along with possibly a face mask/shield. We are still the same people underneath the protective gear, but we have to wear the items for everyone’s safety. Also, please let your child know that they will have to wear a face mask. Finally, please know that your child can still have a parent with them for the entire duration of the appointment. While we may look different and have different procedures, we are the same office we have always been; where our focus is on you.