Market Overview

Your Dentist Can See You Now… But Is It Safe?

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Your Dentist Can See You Now… But Is It Safe?

As COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to rise and fall across the country, the question of if and when you can see your dentist continues to evolve. Dental offices shut across the United States after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) released guidance for dental offices.

Many dental offices temporarily stopped treating patients who wanted to make appointments for procedures that were elective or not urgent. In some cases, concerned patients may have avoided seeking dental care for urgent issues. Keep in mind that your oral health is an incredibly important part of your overall health.

Don’t Delay Urgent Dental Care

Contact your dentist if you experience any of the following:

  • Bleeding that does not stop
  • Painful swelling in or around your mouth
  • Pain in a tooth, teeth or jaw bone
  • Gum infection with pain or swelling
  • After surgery treatment (dressing change, stitch removal)
  • Broken or knocked-out tooth

If you're experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and your dentist is able to see you, please make an appointment and get the care you need.

What to Expect When You Visit the Dentist

Despite the potential risks of visiting a dental office, both the World Health Organization and the CDC say that as of yet, there haven’t been any confirmed cases of the coronavirus being transmitted in a dental office.

Dental offices use instruments such as drills and air-water syringes that can create a visible spray, which contains droplets of saliva and/or blood. These can contaminate frequently touched surfaces or can stay airborne for hours, according to some estimates. Each dentist has its own procedures for dealing with patients during this time and many have enhanced protocols for this new normal.

The good news is that dental offices take exceptional care to maintain safe and sterile conditions to help keep you safe.

Dental Visit Checklist

First, understand your dentist’s policies and procedures. Below are some questions you may want to ask the dentist before your appointment:

  • What, if any, special practices and procedures are you using to protect patients and staff at this time?
  • Should I plan to arrive early or to wait in my car to avoid spending extra time in the reception area?
  • How will we maintain social distancing during my appointment?
  • Will you be able to see me even if I have traveled locally or internationally in the last 14 days?
  • Is there anything special I need to do – or anything I should do differently – before or after my appointment?

Take Care of Your Dentist as Well

While your dentist is looking out for you, please also look out for your dentist. Be sure that you are in good health prior to your appointment and be sure to check your temperature and report any illness or lack of well-being you may be experiencing before, or on the day of your appointment. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.  The CDC recommends everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (and other) diseases.  

Before you visit the dentist answer these questions:

  • Do you have a cough or a fever?
  • Do you have a loss of taste or smell?
  • Do you have muscle aches or a sore throat?
  • Do you have chills or a headache?
  • Have you recently experienced nausea or diarrhea or loss of your appetite?
  • Have you, or anyone in close contact with you, been diagnosed with Covid or been quarantined due to exposure?

As you head in for your appointment remember to sanitize your hands before and after the visit and have your mask ready in case you need it.

Tips and Reminders for Maintaining Your Oral Health

As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The team at DentalInsurance.com would like to share some tips and guidance for maintaining good oral health during these extraordinary times. We recommend that you keep up the following practices at home to help avoid emergency dental issues:

  • Continue to brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once a day
  • Use mouthwash, soft picks and waterpiks to help reduce plaque
  • Avoid sticky, sugary foods, which can cause decay
  • Use caution when eating hard foods, which can cause tooth fracture
  • Clean your toothbrush thoroughly after each use

Maintaining good oral hygiene during these times is not just about protecting your teeth. It is also important for boosting your immunity and keeping you at your healthiest.

For help in finding a dentist or a dental plan, please visit us at DentalInsurance.com.  We are here to assist in any way we can to ensure your smile lasts for a long time to come.

We hope you stay healthy and safe!

 

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