Social Distancing in Dentistry

 

Like all aspects of life in the world currently, dental practices have adapted their environments to maximize the safety of their patients in the face of the covid-19 pandemic. Now, you can get your elective dental procedures done in accordance with the state and local guidelines in place to curb the spread of covid-19. If you are unsure of the role that dental offices are playing to reduce the spread of coronavirus, below are some guidelines to bring you up to date with the changes in dentistry.

The ADA Guidelines for Dentistry in the Covid Era

The American Dental Association {ADA} has been on the frontline to ensure that the covid-19 pandemic does not negate the great strides made in boosting dental health. Though dental services were limited to emergency procedures initially, dental practices are now offering a full range of services. To reduce your infection risk during a visit, here are some changes you might notice in the dental office:

The number of people you can tag along to the dentist is limited to maintain social distancing in dentistry and reduce the number of people waiting in the lobby.

A requirement to wear masks for the appointment if your state mandates mask-wearing in public.

Taking of temperature and sanitizing when entering the dental office.

Covid-19 Vaccine Regulations in Dentistry

Dentists and dental students are among the healthcare providers who have been given priority in the administration of covid-19 vaccines. As such, most dentists, dental students, technicians and other workers you will come across in the dental office are vaccinated.

You might be asking, ‘’can I have a covid-19 vaccine registration with my dentist? The answer is yes. An emergency declaration in the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness {PREP} Act has been amended to authorize additional healthcare workers to administer the covid-19 vaccine. These include dental students and licensed dentists. Dentists already have the requisite knowledge on vaccine administration and are equipped to pick side effects of drugs daily in their practices.

Teledentistry

Though teledentistry is not new in dental care, its use has increased with reduced in-person meetings. The use of telehealth systems in dentistry includes two-way interactions with your service provider, audiovisual telecommunication technology, live videos and transmission of recorded information like photographs or digital transmissions. Dental insurance plans will cover the dental services delivered via telehealth platforms to the same extent as those offered through in-person encounters.

Covid-19 Vaccine Regulations for Patients

Thankfully, there are now covid-19 vaccines that will help your body produce an immune response against the disease. Vaccination only protects you from getting seriously ill, so you should still maintain your state’s guidelines for reducing the risk of covid infection. If you get a single-dose vaccine, your immunity against covid-19 occurs around two weeks after vaccination. In a two-dose vaccine, immunity is achieved after taking both doses.

Infection Prevention and Control {IPC} In Dentistry

In the face of covid-19 and dentistry, dentists have been urged by regulatory bodies to take extra steps to prevent and control infections. Below are some things you might notice in this regard during your dental visit:

  • Staff wearing PPE.
  • Magazines and toys removed from the waiting room to reduce the number of things you touch.
  • The dental chair and computer keyboard might have covers that are easily changed or cleaned between patients
  • Cleaning of the areas you have been in after your appointment in readiness for the next patient.

 

Getting dental care should not increase your risk of contracting covid-19. With the information above, you know that the industry is taking all the steps to ensure your safety. You thus now have peace of mind when keeping your dental appointments and seek care for any dental issues you have.

 

Dr. Bruce M. Sherman, CEO
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