Everyone has had to make some changes in the face of the pandemic, including dentists. For the most part, people have been urged to observe quarantine and refrain from going outside, including visiting the hospital, to minimize the chances of infection.
Why Can’t Patients Visit the Dentist?
COVID-19 spreads through coughing and sneezing since the virus is present in respiratory droplets. The germs are also present in mucus and saliva, which are fluids that dentists and their equipment frequently come into contact with. Dentists also lack isolation rooms that can help limit the spread of infection, making it risky for dentists and patients alike.
What Dentists Can Do to Help
While the public is advised to avoid visiting the dentist during the pandemic, there are a few ways dentists can help make their clinics much safer environments and protect patients from possible infection, including:
- Focusing on emergency treatments
Some dental problems can represent serious risks to health. Some example dental emergencies include severe pain, profuse bleeding, broken teeth, and heavy inflammation. In case of a dental emergency, it’s always vital to contact a dentist right away to get immediate attention. In this case, it’s necessary to visit the dentist for emergency care and solve the dental problem before it gets worse.
- Avoiding non-urgent treatments
Non-urgent treatments (also known as elective procedures) are dental operations that are less pressing and vital. Unlike dental emergencies, these treatments usually address less severe issues that can be rescheduled until the pandemic has run its course. Some examples include x-rays, cosmetic dentistry, braces checkups, and teeth cleaning. In the interest of safety, reschedule these treatments for a better time to minimize the risk of infection and keep yourself healthy.
- Taking extra care with cleaning
In the face of the pandemic, dentists and other healthcare workers are taking extra steps to maintain cleanliness and limit the spread of germs. This can take the form of disinfecting all surfaces and tools more regularly, wearing protective gear more frequently, and keeping all tools covered in between uses. As the crisis goes on, it becomes ever more vital to take all necessary precautions to keep patients safe.
- Practicing social distancing
Social distancing is something we’ll all see more of as time goes on. For dental clinics, social distancing can be an effective precaution against close proximity with other patients. Many clinics are taking steps to move chairs in waiting rooms further away to give patients a little more space to minimize the risk of infection. Dentists are also spacing out appointments to give themselves more time to clean and disinfect the clinic before meeting succeeding patients.
Many doctors, dentists, and nurses are volunteering and offering a helping hand during the pandemic. In fact, there is a volunteer campaign where interested professionals can register to provide emergency care as needed during the crisis. It’s more important than ever for people to have sources of healthcare, and coordinated volunteering can be an effective method of marshaling professionals to help out where they’re needed most.
Even without regular access to healthcare, doctors and dentists are still dedicated to maintaining your safety and watching over your health.
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