During the coronavirus epidemic, dentists are changing the way they perform dental care so that it is safer to go to the dentist.
We are already operating in our dental clinic with 90% of our capacity in terms of available hours and staff, but with enhanced biological safety.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the health authorities’ guidelines were to postpone routine consultations and maintain only emergency care.
Market data shows that more than 90% of dental care was impacted in that initial moment, either by postponing or postponing non-essential dental procedures during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, with the gradual reopening of society’s activities, care for normal dentistry treatments is also being resumed. Our job is to make this resumption of care at the Clínica ImplArt as safe as possible.
Risks for the dentist during the coronavirus pandemic?
Dentists have multiple concerns and responsibilities during the coronavirus pandemic. The concerns are towards the protection of all individuals against COVID-19, both from patients and from the team that works on all interfaces of dental care.
As they work in the oral region, where the coronavirus can be contagious, dentists and dental staff are professionals who must use extra protection resources to ensure safety during procedures, PPE.
Among these resources are, for example: double protective masks, acrylic screens, glasses, aprons suitable for this use and disposable aprons for each service, in addition to special gloves.
In some types of dental care, aerosols are released during work in the patient’s mouth. Aerosols are a cloud of vapor and droplets / particles that are suspended in the air.
The primary means of aerosol formation at the dentist is with the use of the dental engine or during cleaning with a bicarbonate jet.
Many of these procedures are being delayed and replaced, in order to reduce this emission. However, when there is a need to perform them, we use a particle cleaner.
How do we increase the safety of the dental clinic for dental treatment, to avoid COVID-19?
Service with lower capacity: As recommended by health authorities, we have shortened our service hours to serve fewer patients and increased the intervals between appointments.
Screening to enter the clinic: Each patient who enters the clinic has their temperature checked and alcohol gel is provided for hand hygiene. In addition, each patient entering the clinic must be wearing protective masks and their use must be maintained throughout their stay.
Reduced waiting room: The reception had reduced the number of seats, the space between chairs was increased, and we temporarily removed our complimentary coffee machine.
Bulkheads were created on the reception benches in order to protect patients, and the asepsis of the environment is carried out constantly.
Accompanying persons: We recommend that, when possible, the patient does not bring companions in his consultation, in order to reduce the number of people in the waiting room.
Alteration of procedures to avoid aerosols: Some equipment (air and water syringes, for example) or certain procedures may end up producing more aerosols, which we try to avoid.
If aerosols are unavoidable in a given procedure (which may be the case with certain surgeries or extensive procedures), dentists can then use room air suckers.
Greater ventilation in environments: We are encouraging natural ventilation and less use of air conditioning in the clinic environments, to stimulate the natural renewal of air in the offices.
Reconfiguration of office procedures, radiology, prosthesis laboratory and surgical center: We create new physical barriers to separate environments and people.
In addition, we redouble the cleaning and chemical disinfection of all objects in the office, chairs, as well as laboratory work in transit at the clinic, at each service.
Increase in sterilization criteria: The service rooms are completely sanitized and proper asepsis is performed before each service. In addition, we use single-use and disposable materials, according to the most modern guidelines.
Use of new personal protective equipment (PPE): The look of dentists today has changed because we have to use more barriers and protective equipment like face masks.
In some situations, we will have to use other forms of PPE during the appointments, such as caps, waterproof aprons, special gloves.
Going to the dentist remains important despite the coronavirus?
We have seen an increase in the demand for emergency dentistry during the coronavirus outbreak as many dentists have stopped their appointments completely and many treatments have been interrupted.
If you are experiencing any type of dental emergency or prolonged pain (bleeding, swelling, trauma, throbbing, stinging), it is essential that you receive care as soon as possible.
However, if you are afraid or anxious to return to the dentist’s chair due to the risk of contracting COVID-19, contact us before you come.
Based on your report, we will be able to estimate the degree of urgency of your case and see if it is possible to continue your treatment. It is important to continue taking care of your teeth, periodontal health and gums, as you normally would.
General recommendations on going to your dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Always wear your mask when you visit your dentist during the coronavirus pandemic!
- Do not come to the clinic if you feel cold, flu or fever.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and, if not possible, apply alcohol gel.
- Respect the quarantine time if it has been contaminated by COVID-19.