The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of American life, from the way you get your groceries to how you spend your free time. Even though many areas are opening back up, the pandemic is far from over. Dental offices know this and are taking strong precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and to keep you safe while giving you the care you need. During your next appointment, you might be surprised by the changes at the dental office after COVID-19.
Before Your Appointment
Before you are even able to be seen, your dental team will ask you a series of questions to gauge the likelihood that you’ve been exposed to the virus. This may also be accompanied by a no-touch temperature check to be even more thorough. It’s important that both medical professionals and patients protect each other from spreading the virus.
You may also notice some changes to the waiting process. Many offices are implementing “virtual waiting rooms” which allow you to wait in your car until it’s time for your appointment. Other offices are enforcing social distancing in the waiting room, keeping chairs six feet apart, and getting rid of magazines and other shared items.
During Your Appointment
Dental teams are taking extra preventative measures during your appointment. Dentists, hygienists, and their assistants are adding additional layers of protection such as face shields, surgical gowns, and goggles. This equipment is there for everyone’s benefit. Some offices are incorporating new tools as well, such as advanced suction systems to keep particles from becoming airborne.
After Your Appointment
Sanitation practices in dental offices have always been set to a high standard. Now, that standard is even higher. Each operatory is cleaned after every single use. All exposed surfaces, from countertops to light switches, are disinfected, as are all used dental instruments. Some practices are nominating one or two team members to monitor and ensure that all safety practices are being followed to the letter at all times.
Dental practices are some of the safest places that you can visit, even during the pandemic. While your next dental visit may not be exactly what you are used to, it is because your dentist has your complete safety in mind. The next time you think you may be having a dental issue, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment.