How to Safely Visit the Dentist During the Pandemic
Should I Still Attend Dental Services During the Pandemic?
In the simplest of answers, YES – with a few precautions. Delaying dental care can pose substantial risks in the long run. Even seemingly negligible conditions, such as cracked fillings or chipped teeth, can progress into something much worse if left unchecked. Periodontal disease, which tends to be ignored even before the pandemic, has been linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Oral health is something that is not to be taken lightly. This is why dental practices continue to take extraordinary measures to ensure the continuity of their services and the safety of their community.
Visiting the dentist during this pandemic will look different, to say the least. The cheerful smile of the receptionist may now be hidden behind a protective divider. The ambient chit-chat and the rustling of magazines in the waiting area will surely be missed. Someone might even fail to recognise their dentist due to a full set of protective clothing. While everything might seem alien at first, patients should keep in mind that when it comes to the level of service and dedication to the craft, everything stays the same.
Dental Practitioners Face a Considerable Risk
Due to the nature of their work and how COVID-19 is primarily transmitted, dentists face a greater risk of contracting the disease than most other medical professionals.
What Extra Precautions are Taken?
Even before the pandemic, dentists have been strict with disinfecting their spaces and tools. This stringency is due to the long list of diseases that can be transmitted between patients and dentist through saliva and respiratory droplets. Patients can take comfort from the reality that dentists are well-disciplined when it comes to preventing the spread of disease in their clinics. More than before, dental practices follow a rigid set of safeguards to keep themselves, their patients, and their staff safe from infection. These measures will include:
All patients will be asked questions over the phone related to COVID-19 symptoms and visiting hotspots. From there, patients can be triaged and booked for appointments accordingly. This may then be repeated once entering the clinic, as well as a temperature check. At Pinnacle Dental Group, we ensure that we follow the guidelines and recommendations set forth by the Australian Government Department of Health, NSW Health and the Australian Dental Association.
• Hand Hygiene
• Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
• Safe Use and Disposal of Sharps
• Routine Environmental Cleaning
• Reprocessing of Medical Equipment and Instruments
• Respiratory Hygiene including Cough and Sneeze Etiquette
• Aseptic Technique – Asepsis is the state of being free from disease-causing micro-organisms.
• Proper Waste Management
• Appropriate Handling of Linen
• Patient Isolation
• Placement of PPE Before Engaging with the Patient
• Removal of PPE without Causing Environmental Contamination
• Strict Hand Hygiene Procedures
• Limited Patient Movement within the Facility
• Greater Stringency for Decontamination Measures
• Use of Protective Barriers
• Surgical Masks and Surgical Respirators
• Patient Placement and Surface Decontamination
• Pre-Procedural Mouth Rinse
• Rubber Dam for Restorative Dental Work
• Applying Two Complete Cycles of Surface Cleaning
Keeping Everyone Safe
With all the stringent measures dentists enact to keep their practices safe for everyone, patients can take comfort that their visit to the dentist can be a relatively risk-free experience.
Patients Should do their Part
Members of the general public also have their share in the responsibility of keeping the community safe. These include calling ahead to set an appointment, proper hand hygiene, and adhering to the recommended safety protocols and health standards. If someone is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, it would be better to cancel the dental appointment.
The Pinnacle of Quality Dental Care and Safety
Our commitment to providing the highest possible level of service to our patients extends to our commitment to providing a safe environment for everyone involved: patients, doctors, and staff. We want everyone to come home to their families with the confidence that their safety has been well-addressed.
Rest assured that we continuously monitor changes in the situation and keep abreast with Official Health and Workplace guidelines provided by the Australian Government Department of Health and NSW Health.
While we have always upheld the highest standards in hygiene practices, we have incorporated additional measures to support an even safer environment. Our staff continuously take strict steps to monitor their health and are directed to remain at home if they feel unwell.
Our team at Pinnacle Dental Group continuously and closely monitor the recommendations and will update you in light of new developments. If you wish to set an appointment, please call us at (02) 9526 1458 or contact us on our website.
We thank you for your understanding and continued support.