How COVID-19 Has Changed Going to the Dentist

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed countless aspects of day to day life, including the choices people make about when and how to seek medical care.

For dentists and dental practices, the virus has raised particular concerns due to the nature of its spread. It’s common in dental procedures for there to be respiratory droplets from the mouth that travel into the air — exactly what people try to prevent by wearing a mask.

However, many dentists are being proactive in using new technology and strict safety protocols to ensure that going to the dentist is as safe as possible. Compared to early in the pandemic, offices are much more likely to have social distancing and sanitizing protocols as well as a good supply of PPE including masks and face shields.

If you’re thinking of reaching out for dental care soon, check in with your dentist about how they’ve adapted their safety standards. You can also tap into your dental insurance network to see how other providers are creating a hygienic environment. Here are some of the changes you might encounter on your first trip back to the dentist.

What to expect when returning to the dentist

Dentist offices always practicing high standards of hygiene in terms of sanitizing tools between patients, but the specific demands of COVID-19 have meant many dentists have adopted several new key tools for their practice.

More frequent video consults: As with other medical offices, many dentists are using video consults largely for the first time due to Coronavirus restrictions. Video consults can be a great opportunity to discuss any concerns that have come up over the past months and evaluate whether or not they’re worth a trip to the office.

Spaced out appointments: The days of crowded waiting rooms are behind us. A core tenet of COVID-19 prevention across the board has been to minimize crowding in indoor areas, and dentist’s offices are no exception — many are discouraging patients from arriving early and asking them to remain outside of the office until their appointment begins.

New technology: Many dental offices are adopting new technology both during patient visits and behind the scenes. Different dentists have taken on tools ranging from air filtration systems that destroy airborne viruses to preprocedural rinses that help kill viruses in the mouth to lower the viral load before procedures. Other tools you may be familiar with, such as the high-powered suction put in a patient’s mouth or dam barriers kept above the mouth, have become more common and useful than ever before.

The bottom line: Is it safe to visit the dentist’s office right now?

Dental offices, like other small businesses, are feeling a financial crunch from the pandemic. Many have taken up state-of-the-art anti-viral and hygienic standards to keep patients comfortable and safe while visiting during Coronavirus.

If you have questions about which protocols your dentist’s office is following, you should reach out and inquire as to their office precautions. Neglecting your dental health also comes with its own risks, such as pain, gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. Consider a video consult to help you determine along with your dentist whether or not it’s worth it for you to go back to the office during the pandemic.

Source: iQuanti, Inc.

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Categories: Medicine and Healthcare

Tags: Coronavirus, Dental Insurance, Dentist, Healthcare