For much of March and April, most dentists across the country were only treating patients with dental emergencies in order to keep patients away from crowded, potentially germ-filled emergency rooms due to COVID-19. These days, many dentists are currently in the process of opening back up for regular appointments like cleanings and cosmetic treatments. However, your appointment won’t proceed quite the same way it did before COVID-19 struck. Here is how you can expect your dentist appointment procedure to go.
Before Your Appointment
Whenever you schedule an appointment, your dentist will send you a health questionnaire that must be filled out prior to your visit as a requirement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Instead of sitting in the waiting room, your dental team will ask that you wait in your car and check in with your phone. A member of your dentist’s staff will call or text you when the dentist is ready for you. Then you can bypass the waiting room and head directly to the treatment area.
However, before your appointment properly begins, you will be asked to thoroughly wash your hands and rinse your mouth out for 60 seconds with an antimicrobial oral rinse. This will drastically reduce the number of germs in your mouth and on your hands that could accidentally infect the staff and other patients.
During Your Appointment
You may notice that your dental team is wearing more personal protective equipment (PPE) than they did before. They might be wearing additional face masks, gloves, face shields, shoe coverings, and surgical gowns. This is done to create more layers between their skin and yours. Germs then have a harder time penetrating those layers and infecting people.
The office may also feel a bit emptier than it did. This is because your dentist isn’t seeing as many patients in a day as they used to. As a result, there is more time between patients for the staff to thoroughly disinfect the office.
After Your Appointment
Between patients, your dentist’s staff will clean commonly touched surfaces as well as all the dental instruments. Rest assured that whatever instruments the dentist used to treat you have been completely disinfected.
If, within 14 days of your appointment, you come down with symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath), contact your dentist immediately. You might have been carrying the virus during your appointment. Anyone with whom you came into contact could now be at risk.
We might be in the middle of a global pandemic, but that’s not an excuse to let your oral health fall by the wayside. If you have any needed dental work that you’ve been putting off, now is as good a time as any to get that squared away. Your dentist’s office is clean enough that you shouldn’t have to worry about infection at all.
About the Practice
At Vienna Smiles, our dental team goes above and beyond to ensure our patients’ comfort during their appointments. For this reason, we’ve implemented several precautionary measures to keep you safe during COVID-19. We make sure our office is as safe and clean as could possibly be to set your mind at ease. To learn more about our dedication to safety, visit our website.