Afraid to visit your dentist during and post covid?

Afraid-to-visit-your-dentist-during-and-post-covid-19-dentist-taking-all-precatutions-wearing-PPE-KIT-in-dental-clinic

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

September 23, 2021

The entire world was in a deadlock position during the pandemic and dental concerns were not on the priority list for anyone. Though studies proved how simple oral hygiene measures could reduce the risk of getting affected by covid, still dental hygiene was ignored by many. Even dental emergencies were ignored and not paid attention too. Of course in the phase of panic and covid terror, many found it difficult and hesitated to visit dental clinics.

All people had in their minds was dental problems can wait and can be addressed later once all this is over. But how many of us are still think visiting dental clinics may not be safe yet?

During these unique and unprecedented times, the whole world was put under lockdown rules and was told to follow the World Health Organization protocols. The pandemic, which curbed the whole world has brought changes in the way one perceives the health sector. Even before the pandemic, dentists used to take all judicious precautions that were required in the clinic e.g. Wearing gloves, masks, and protective goggles to protect themselves and the staff at hand.

dentist-with-bio-safety-suit-attending-doing-oral-examination-female-patient

Is it safe to visit your dentist?

Due to COVID-19, there are many additional safety precautions that are taken by, where many of them are recommended by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Since before time, dentists have taken extraordinary steps to keep the virus at bay and made sure the safety of the patients is of utmost importance. 

Your dentist makes sure to schedule your appointments much prior to avoid making you wait for a long time in the reception areas. This helps to maintain and control the crowd in the clinic. The dentist will be having sufficient, safe space in his/her waiting room for the other patients and can give sufficient time to each patient. 

dentist-nurse-dressed-ppe-suit-with-face-shiled-discussing-with-patient-stomatology-waiting-room

What are the precautions being taken?

The safety of the patients is a crucial aim of the dental team. The changes that the dental team has done are:

ENTRANCE:

A dental assistant at the reception area is appointed for the screening purpose at the entrance of the clinic to measure the temperature and SpO2 levels with the help of the pulse oximeter.

WAITING AREA:

Since maintaining a social distance is of utmost importance the seats in the waiting area are marked 6 feet apart. If in case the waiting area is full the other patients can be requested to seat in the vehicle they have come in and later can be notified when the dentist is ready to take them in. 

SANITIZATION:

Instruments are sanitized thoroughly and kept ready for you to avoid any delay in the treatment. Doing this reduces your waiting time and the possible risk of covid exposure.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE):

Dentists use various kinds of PPE, Face shields, gloves, full-body gowns and goggles while they work. PPE kits are changed after treating each patient, thereby minimizing the risk of cross-contamination between the other patients, dental personnel, and the dentist himself. Different levels of PPEs are used according to the graded protection standards to achieve maximum benefits.

HIGH SUCTION VACUUMS:

We know that SARS-Covid 19 virus spreads through droplets during dental procedures due to the rigorous use of ultrasonic scalers, high-speed rotatory instruments which thereby lead to the spread of patient’s saliva droplets. In order to stop this spread, high vacuum suctions are used, which prevents the spread of droplets, which thereby protect the dentist, dental assistant and the patient too.

The new dental scenario

The dentist and his staff also undergo religious screening of temperature and SpO2 to avoid any spread of infection if any present. In order to maintain a high level of hygiene maintenance, it is better to avoid bringing any relative with you to the dental clinic which in return reduces the number of individuals in the waiting area.

Patients need to fill the pre-appointment questionnaire which gives the dentist an idea of the previous covid history, medical history, and dental history of the patient. To prevent the hand-to-hand transmission of disease, online payments or QR codes can be encouraged to be put up in the dental setup.

Concerning the spread of the infection, before beginning the dental procedure the patient can be asked to gargle with 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwash which reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth.

dentist-holding-patient-radiography-oral-care-teleconsulating patient

How can dental tele-consultations help?

The new approaches such as Tele-dentistry have become a boon in such a scenario. TeleDentistry is a new way of delivering dental care and consultations that are rapidly increasing in popularity and value. Teleconsultations are provided in many ways. You can either audio consult with your dentist or even video consult get instant dental checkups on DentalDost App or even WhatsApp depending on your concerns and convenience.

Whether you want to ask the smallest of your dental concerns regarding pre or post-treatment procedures, second opinions with other dentists, information regarding the precautions to be taken post-treatments, information about the dental products all can be addressed via dental dentistry.

You can even get an instant dental checkup on your WhatsApp without actually having to visit a dentist for a checkup to minimize the risk of covid. Times have now changed where you only need to visit your dentist when you need treatment that saves you, your time, effort, and money.

Your dentist is always striking a balance between the safety of his staff and assistants and yet provide optimum and best services to his/her patients. Therefore, it’s totally safe for the public to go to their nearest dentist for a complete dental check-up as well as get treatments done.

Highlights

  • People are afraid to visit dental clinics even after the vaccinations.
  • Dentists are taking all the necessary precautions and following the sanitization protocols for the safety of their patients and render the best treatment possible with minimal risk.
  • It is more safe than ever to visit your dentist. So get your dental issues solved at the earliest.
  • Dental consultations over a phone call or video calls help you to address your dental emergencies.

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Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.
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