How to safely visit your dentist during the coronavirus pandemic
As the coronavirus pandemic spread rapidly at the beginning of this year, most dental offices in the US remained closed, except for emergency care. As dental clinics reopen across the country, they’re prepared with a lot of new preventative protocols to ensure safety for patients and dentist, staff according to the recommendations from the American Dental Association, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Center for Disease Control.
However, there is anxiety and fear among people as they question the safety of office appointments and safety of dental visits during the coronavirus pandemic.
When should you visit our dental office?
Delaying dental care and checkups can turn a small cavity into a root canal or tooth extraction, and add to greater pain, treatment time, and higher costs. So, ignoring dental checkups and care can result in serious infections.
Non-Urgent Dental Treatment
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now recommending dental clinics to weigh in the situation for non-urgent visits and surgeries. This is a revision from their earlier recommendation to pause all non-urgent dental treatments.
But what are non-urgent treatments? These are elective procedures which affect your overall health but they’re not serious enough to be resolved right away.
Some non-urgent dental treatments include:
- Teeth exams
- Teeth cleaning
- Teeth whitening
- Fixing cosmetic problems
- Checkup for braces
Emergency Dental Treatment
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), any condition that is life-threatening or if it causes severe pain or a high risk of infection is an emergency dental treatment and should be treated right away. It is only your dentist who can decide what’s urgent.
Some emergency dental treatments include:
- Serious pain
- Non-stop bleeding
- Treatment for cavities
- Tissue that needs a biopsy
- Swollen areas in or around your mouth such as gums, face, or neck
- Broken teeth, mainly if they cause pain or tissue damage
- Signs of infection such as pain and swelling
- Post-surgery care which only the dentist can do
- A temporary crown that’s lost or broken
- Dental work connected to cancer treatment
- Dentures that don’t work correctly
- Wires in your braces that hurt
- Trauma that may affect your ability to breathe
Our dentists can help you determine if your dental case is an emergency, an urgency, or routine dental care. Call us now!
Is the Blue Turtle Dental office safe during COVID-19?
Despite the potential risks of community transmission when people are in close contact with each other, the good news is that both the World Health Organization and the CDC have reported no confirmed cases of COVID-19 traced to dental offices.
At Blue Turtle Dental, we work with the mindset that “everyone is infected.” This helps our team to take even more extra precautions than we usually take in normal situations. Protecting the health of all working at the office, and patients are paramount.
We do more than just sanitizing and checking the temperature as we follow the precautions recommended by the CDC, in sync with the American Dental Association. We also stay abreast of their periodical safety updations.
Some safety guidelines during COVID-19 pandemic that we practice at Blue Turtle Dental are:
- A COVID-19 screening questionnaire will be emailed to you, which must be completed in full prior to your dental appointment.
- We ask that all patients wait in the car upon arrival. We ask all patients to call our main number at 650-503-6777 or text message 650-503-5616, before coming into the office.
- Everyone who enters the premises, including patients, staff, and doctors, will have their temperatures taken with a touchless thermometer on a daily basis upon entering the office.
- All staff will be equipped with full PPE which includes full coverage gowns, level 3 masks, and face shields.
- We will frequently disinfect common areas and high touch surfaces with EPA certified anti-viral products.
- Air purifiers and EOS – External Oral Suction devices will be present in office and operatories.
- We will be spacing out appointments to avoid crowding our offices.
- Only patients will be allowed in the office (with exception for minors and elderly when one additional adult may be present.)
- You will be asked to bring and wear a mask upon entering.
- You will be asked to use hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water upon entering.
- When you come, we will screen you for symptoms of COVID-19 — such as cough and fever — and postpone if you have signs that could indicate you may have the virus.
At Blue Turtle Dental, we are taking all patient and staff safety steps as recommended by the American Dental Association, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the CDC.
Call our dentist in Palo Alto, CA, if you have questions about your dental care and whether to come in for an appointment or wait until later.