The COVID-19 pandemic has brought several changes into the way we live. These do not only affect our daily routine but also other important aspects of our lives, which include our visit to the dentist. Now that Dental Clinics all over the world are beginning to open again, here are some things that you will expect in your next visit to the tooth doctor:
1. Appointments will be strictly enforced.
Unlike before wherein walk-ins were allowed, most dental clinics will now enforce a strict appointment-only consultation. This will be done because of the social distancing measures that businesses are expected to be implemented. If walk-ins will be allowed, the number of people inside dental clinics might not be controlled. However, a lot of dental clinics will still accept emergency cases without any appointment.
2. Health Assessment
When you book your appointment, it is also expected that the dental staff will ask you not only about your dental status but also your overall health condition. This is to ensure your safety, the safety of the medical staff, and the safety of other patients. They may also do another assessment once you arrive in the dental clinic to make sure that you are healthy.
3. Wear a Mask
Most towns require people to wear masks in public. This is also expected for people who will be visiting the dentist. This is to ensure protection considering that COVID-19 is spread through droplet transmission.
4. Not allowed entry unless its your appointment time
Because of the limiting of the number of people inside the dental clinic, patients are expected to wait outside until its their turn. In order to decrease the waiting time, please make sure that you come to the dental clinic a few minutes before your scheduled appointment.
5. Dental staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
If you see people inside the clinic all covered up, do not be afraid! You are in the right place. These are dental staff wearing their PPEs. This will dramatically reduce the risk of transmitting the virus from one patient to another.
5. Limited staff inside the clinic
As what has been pointed out, businesses are expected to limit the number of people inside their establishments. Because of this, dental staff on duty are expected to be at a minimum in order to be able to observe social distancing.
6. Regular sanitation
Because the coronavirus may survive in surfaces for a long time, Dental Clinics are also expected to disinfect their equipment and the entire clinic regularly. Ideally, the dental staff should sanitize the clinic in between patients.
The Dental staff may call you after two weeks from your appointment to follow-up on your health condition. This is to ensure that you were not a carrier of the virus when you had your check up. This is also done for the safety of the staff and the patients that came after you.
The changes in this list are far from the usual dental appointments we have had in the past. As we transition to the new normal, the dental clinics are also adjusting to make sure that we deliver the most efficient care without jeopardizing the health of the community. This may discourage you from setting your dentist appointment while the pandemic is still ongoing but always remember that your dental health affects your overall health. Don't take it for granted.