In the wake of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak, officials are telling people to stay home. There are cases where you can still leave your home, including getting medical care. In some cases, dentist offices may still be open to provide emergency care for patients. The American Dental Association (ADA) has issued COVID-19 guidelines. Dentists should follow these to maintain a clean environment for patients.
Looking out for patients
Patients who visit the dentist’s office during this pandemic should be cautious. This is especially true for people who have Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) symptoms. Dentists should be committed to looking out for patients’ welfare. Still, professionals must still provide essential oral care. The ADA urges dentists to inform patients of the latest developments in COVID-19 prevention. Dental offices should maintain strict processes so patients can feel comfortable and at ease.
Sending ill employees home
Dentists should not allow any office staff members, assistants or hygienists to report to work if they have flu-like symptoms. This includes fever, a sore throat, muscle aches or cough. If any employees have Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) symptoms, the dentist should inform that person’s health care provider immediately. If the staff member is not breathing effectively, the individual should immediately seek medical assistance.
Wearing protective gear
To reduce the risk of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) transmission, dentists should wear protection. Staff members and hygienists should do the same. All disposable facemasks should be discarded after one use. Dentists should replace masks between the treatment of each patient. Also, if water gets on the masks during an appointment with a patient, the dentist should get a new one. Dentists should also use eye protection and a face shield to protect the face from fluids.
Promote social distancing to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
When scheduling appointments, dentists should spread out visits. This will reduce the number of people in the office. Staff members should confirm appointments in advance. When doing this, office workers should encourage patients to arrive on time. Arriving early will increase the waiting time and could put two or more people in the waiting room. If more than one patient is in the waiting room together, they should not be closer than 6 feet apart.
Changes in the office
Before admitting anyone inside the office, the staff must create the right setting. There should not be any magazines in the waiting room. Staff members should remove toys and video game consoles with controllers. The dentist should make sure there are no other such objects out in the open. Employees should clean the office. Staff should sanitize surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, chairs and light switches.
Doing their part to prevent the spread
Your dentist will follow these ADA guidelines at the dental office. You can have peace of mind that the right measures will be in place if you go in for an appointment. Your dentist understands the gravity of this pandemic. But, you still may need dental care. Do not hesitate to call your dentist if you have an emergency need to relieve pain or repair a damaged tooth.
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