Is it safe to see the dentist during COVID-19? Yes!

The coronavirus pandemic has altered the world around us. Preventive protocols like physical distancing and covering mouth are now important to avoid the risk of Covid-19 infection. But, it is also important to maintain oral health. A cleaner and healthy mouth contribute to minimizing the chances of viral infections as it is well known that a healthy body is less prone to any infections. The pandemic has pushed many to neglect their oral health concerns and as the world starts to unlock, the question still persists- Is it safe to see the dentist during COVID-19?

Dentist-Covid19

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), there has not been one single reported case of COVID-19 transmission associated with dental offices so far. Just like any of us using masks on daily basis, washing hands, using sanitizers, disinfecting surfaces, the dentists to have already put all preventive protocols in action to ensure safety for their staff and patients. All safe dental offices have geared the patient & staff interaction to be straightforward and predictable by minimizing contact wherever possible, by using PPE kits and minimizing chairside adjustments, etc. Efficiency in all aspects of treatment and operations has now become critical. So, why neglect oral health when all the infection control procedures are in place! The dental community has been issued safety guidelines to follow, but here are a few things you can do to overcome the hesitation of seeing your dentists during the pandemic.

Yes, Please.

Before you make an appointment, here are a few questions you may ask to overcome the apprehension:
If patients are screened over the phone before their visit.
If the practice limits the number of people allowed in the waiting room at one time.
If they disinfect all surfaces including telephones, the EFTPOS machine, door handles, etc.

If all instruments/tools are sterilized after each patient.

If the staff have enough personal protective equipment?
If both staff and patients wear masks at all times?
If they have removed high contact items in the reception area like, magazines & toys.
If they have adjusted seating in the reception area to facilitate social distancing.

If the answer to all of these questions is “yes,” it means the dental office is doing everything to provide a safe environment & hence, you can feel at ease going to the dentist’s office.

Your Call
A safe dental practice puts infection control measures in action and you can see it for yourself in the initial visit. It’s then your choice to go ahead or not. So, here’s a list of everything you need to observe before you make an informed decision.

A safe dental practice:

● Records your detailed travel history and medical history.
● Sterilizes instruments for each and every patient.
● Uses disposable suction tips and instruments.
● Disinfects the dental chair, instrument panels, dental light unit and benchtops between every appointment.
● Places protective barriers over surfaces such as a headrest, x-ray units, etc.
● Uses Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
● Requests patients to undertake a 30-second preoperational antimicrobial mouth rinse with a 0.1% hydrogen peroxide solution before treatment
● Uses high-speed suction that reduces aerosols by 95% whenever possible.
● Uses rubber dam that reduces aerosol by 70% whenever possible.

We know it is not easy right now. Post lockdown, many businesses have reopened, including dental practices. Pandemic or not, dentists are trained to regularly disinfect and will continue to do so. Returning to your dentist is purely a personal decision, but making an informed choice by assessing the hygiene protocols will save you from neglect that can cost more than just money.

Come to Expressions Dental for all your Dental Needs!

Our team of dental professionals follow stringent safety protocols and are always here to help you get the expert dental care you need in Calgary even during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Do you have questions about our safety procedures? Need more information? Interested in an appointment? You can contact us online or give us a call. See you soon!
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How to Cope With Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety is one of the most common phobias that we come across. The phobia is so strong at times that people actually, completely avoid visiting a dentist, even if the problem amplifies. If the fear persists and one absolutely ignores their dental issues due to the anxiety, it really can turn out to be detrimental for your oral hygiene as it is also an incredibly important part of your health. Therefore, it becomes more than necessary to overcome your dental anxiety through certain psychological methods.

You can use the following tips to help cope with your dental phobia.

  • Talking to your family and friends

You can talk about your dental fear with your family and friends. Talking to them might help in bringing in some support and subsiding the fear for the good.

  • Have a word with your dentist

Who else will make you better understand about your problem and the stages to cure it! Talking to your dentist may help as he/she is the one going to be dealing with your oral care. He/she should understand the precise anxiousness and try to work with you to make you feel comfortable.

  • Relaxation techniques

It is very important to control your anxious emotions and bring yourself at ease. Use relaxation and breathing techniques, relax your body and mind by listening to music, having conversations with your dentist, or anything else that can relax and distract you from the anxiety.

If your dental anxiety is too severe and is deep rooted psychological phobia, then you have other potential ways to cope with it.

  • Counseling

You can go through counseling to mitigate your dental phobia. This will be helpful to you as it will try to detect the root cause of your phobia and the counselor will try to work along with you to make you calm and quell your fear.

  • Dental Support Groups

As, dental phobia is a very common type of phobia, you also have dental anxiety websites available. You have various websites, forums where you can discuss how to overcome your phobia and get support through groups or dentists.

Dental phobia shouldn’t be ignored. The practice of the few above mentioned techniques might bring some relief to your phobia. Contact our team at Expressions Dental Clinic in Calgary to discus options available to deal with your anxiety.

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