Every time COVID cases spike, the same question always comes up: “Should I go to the dentist during Covid?” It might seem like skipping a dental checkup just this once would be worth it… but unfortunately, that’s not true!
COVID-19 Safety Procedures at The Dentist
Is the dentist safe now? Yes! The American Dental Association works closely with dentists to establish standards that ensure safe access to dental care for patients as well as the staff performing those dental procedures.
Studies have shown that visiting your local dental practitioner is perfectly safe at this time. Because precautions have been put in place to minimize casual contact between patients or other staff not seeing specific patients, it reduces the chances of viral spread. However, if you have any reason to believe that you are exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus, it would be safer to stay away from crowded places while you recover, and your dentist will ask that you reschedule your appointment.
“Should I get my teeth cleaned during COVID?” Why not? The dentist’s office is one of the safest places to be during times like these because of the high level of infection control, disinfecting practices, and personal protective equipment being used to protect everyone in the office. Is going to the dentist safe? Absolutely. You’ll likely complete a pre-screening and temperature checks at the time of your dental visit, just in case you’re infected and do not know it. Staff do the same for themselves every day, to protect patients and coworkers.
Dental offices have put many safety procedures in place to protect their patients. However, as with any social interaction, it is important that you get a COVID vaccine before going to the dentist or another healthcare practice, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or have been delaying your dental care over the course of the pandemic.
Are Dentists Open During Coronavirus?
Although dental offices were initially closed during the early parts of the coronavirus pandemic, that is no longer the case. Because delaying a dental appointment can increase the severity of health needs (requiring hospitalization or trips to the emergency room,) dentists always provide emergency services, even during nationwide closures. Some even went as far as to incorporate teledentistry services for virtual palliative care and consultations.
Now that we are well into the COVID-19 pandemic, dentists are able to adapt how patients visit the office to reduce transmission and avoid contact with third parties. This helps eliminate the spread of COVID-19 infections without restricting access to oral health care. Carrying on with your routine dental appointment is simple, as long as you regularly monitor yourself for symptoms and communicate any issues with your dentist’s office.
Why You Really Should Go to The Dentist Regularly, Even Now
Going to the dentist during COVID can help you prevent painful dental emergencies, avoid unnecessary treatments thanks to preventative care, and be better for your health overall. Especially since having active gum disease can increase your complications should you contract the COVID-19 virus. Without routine dental cleanings, you can easily develop issues like cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. In turn, your spiraling dental health can put you at greater risk for conditions like heart disease, pneumonia, or a greater risk of infection should you contract COVID.
When dental needs go unaddressed because of delayed checkups, they often become more aggressive and expensive to treat. Ongoing checkups are better for your smile as well as your overall health.
It’s impossible to say when the COVID-19 pandemic will be completely over. By visiting the dentist now, while we know it’s safe, you can better your overall health by minimizing chronic dental disease. There are no reasons not to see a dentist during the pandemic unless you’re potentially infected with the virus at the time of your dental appointment.
Without going to the dentist, you drastically raise your risk of infections, cavities, and broken or worn teeth. At the same time, routine maintenance and checkups lower your chances of these issues because it allows your dentist to intercept them as early as possible. Preventative care will help you limit your visits to checkups and cleanings, as opposed to avoidable crowns and/or root canal therapy.
Going to The Dentist During COVID
Going to the dentist during COVID will be very similar to seeing your primary care physician or another healthcare provider. You will likely be asked to remain masked and maintain social distancing with any other individuals in the office at the time of check-in and check-out. A staff member will also take your temperature, review your pre-screening questionnaire, and may ask if you’ve been vaccinated.
It is just as safe to go to the dentist now as it ever has been. In fact, the American Dental Association found that dentists had an extremely low rate of infection, because of the extensive amount of protective equipment used in dental practices.
Can you have dental work after a COVID vaccine? If you are symptom-free, then yes. However, you may want to rest for a day or two after your vaccine, as it’s fairly common for some people to develop temporary symptoms because of their immune response to the vaccine.
How to Take Care of Your Teeth at Home During COVID
Even with all the concerns about visiting a dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are steps you can take to keep your smile healthy. And in turn, you’ll limit your chances of requiring additional treatments and dental appointments in the future.
First, floss your teeth at least once a day. Without dental floss, bacteria, acids, and food debris will etch away at tooth enamel and cause gum infections. Flossing is the only way to clean between your teeth and just under the edges of your gum tissues.
Next, brush twice a day for a minimum of two minutes with fluoridated toothpaste. All you need is a pea-sized amount. Most of us tend to rush too quickly and not brush our teeth as long as we should. If you’re using an electric toothbrush, simply position the bristles against the tooth, slightly aimed toward the gum tissues, and allow it to do the work for you (but you’ll still need to brush for two minutes each time.) There’s no need to rinse the toothpaste out afterward.
Be sure to pay extra attention to any areas with swelling or redness, as there may be plaque or food caught in that area. If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, be sure to call your dentist.
Dental Care and COVID
Is it safe to go to the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic? Yes. Right now, it’s one of the safest places you can be. Are dentists open during coronavirus waves of infection? Yes. Especially if you require emergency care. Going to the dentist during COVID is nothing to worry about, especially because of the heightened standards taken by the American Dental Association and the dental community at large.
At New England Dental Center, our entire Windsor, CT dental team goes above and beyond required industry standards to deliver safe, accessible oral health services to every patient. If you have any questions about our COVID policies or what to expect during your appointment, please feel free to call our office. Contact us today to reserve your next visit.
What sanitizing practices are performed between patient visits?
Our dental hygienists wear masks during all dental procedures, and our tools, drills, x-rays, and other equipment are all thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
During the outbreak, we’ve instituted additional cleaning procedures to keep you extra safe as recommended by the ADA and CDC. Before an appointment, we’re calling to screen patients for risks or possible infection. At the dental office, a virtual dental assistant takes your temperature as you enter the waiting room. We’ve also spaced out appointments to allow enhanced cleaning between patients.
Make an appointment for your dental treatment today
Call 860-688-3663 to request an appointment with one of our dental professionals. We accept a range of insurance plans and you can talk to a member of our dental team about payment options when you schedule an appointment. Whether you need a dental exam, checkup, teeth whitening, periodontal care, orthodontic treatment, nightguards, oral surgery, or emergency dental services our advanced dental professionals are on hand to offer safe quality dental care throughout and beyond the pandemic.