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How Dentists Are Coping With COVID-19?

The coronavirus pandemic has affected every single aspect of peoples lives, depriving them of getting the most basic services, such as health care. Dentistry is no exception, due to the production of aerosols during dental treatments when the tools of dentists come in contact with patients’ teeth.

Consequently, dentists are subjected to multiple alterations for the purpose of providing emergency dental care, such as making changes in patient management, facilities, the use of equipment, as well as adhering to numerous administrative and engineering regulations.

Nevertheless, only patients requiring emergency treatments are allowed to schedule an appointment. If you require immediate dental services from a top dentist in Roanoke, make sure the professional follows all protocols and obeys regulations.

These are the main ways in which these professionals cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alterations in patient management

Unlike the period prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, dental visits are arranged at least several days before the appointment due to the alterations in patient management. Dentists are obliged to perform a telephone screening of patients in order to determine which individuals are suitable for receiving dental care.

Moreover, patients are asked to report any symptoms or contacts with infected people in the course of the previous two weeks. In case they report no suspicious symptoms, dentists require them to either visit the dental office by themselves or minimize the number of companions so as to prevent crowds. Also, patients are required to wear a facemask upon entering the office as well as have their temperature taken

The same procedure is repeated when patients arrive at the facility, by asking the same questions and taking their temperature. Afebrile individuals are allowed to receive dental care, while the ones suspicious of being Covid-19 positive should be prohibited from getting treatment.

In terms of masks, dentists and their personnel are obliged to wear facemasks during the working hours, while patients are allowed to remove their masks solely when getting treatment. Also, dentists are expected to be supplied with enough masks in order to protect individuals who didn’t put on a facemask for the appointment. Click here to check out some useful tips about wearing a mask properly, recommended by doctors.

Facility alterations

Another major consideration for dentists during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic is following the recommended facility rules and procedures. Dentists are required to place multiple posters in their offices, particularly at the entrance, to inform patients about both hand and respiratory hygiene rules inside the facility.

In order for patients to abide by the proposed regulations, dental offices are supposed to be equipped with alcohol-based hand sanitizers and tissues, placed at the entrance as well as in the waiting room of the facility. All the magazines, toys, and commonplace objects are to be removed from waiting rooms, as these tend to be frequently touched by people while waiting for their appointment.

In terms of social distancing, the chairs in the waiting areas have to be a minimum of two meters apart to prevent any type of contact. Also, appointments should not overlap, as it’s the only way not to exceed the recommended number of individuals in dental offices. Patients may choose to wait in their vehicles in front of the facility, instead of waiting in the office itself, being notified by the personnel to enter the facility only minutes before the treatment.

Ultimately, in order to minimize the contact between the staff and the patients, dentists are advised to install glass barriers in the hallway. As a result, the risk of infection will be even further minimized.

Equipment alterations

Due to the high risk of infection, dentists are obliged to limit the number of treatments as well as the use of tools. Consequently, individuals whose dental requirements aren’t essential are advised to postpone their check-ups as long as they experience no overwhelming pain, bleeding, or inflammation. Therefore, make sure you postpone the treatment of chipped teeth, crown installation, bridge installation, bad breath, whitening, or polishing treatments.

On the other hand, urgent dental problems whose treatment is permitted include dental extraction solely for patients suffering from severe pain and swelling, teeth damage in accidents, ulcers, and medical conditions where dental care is absolutely vital. The following link, https://www.verywellhealth.com/top-common-dental-problems-1059461, explains the causes and symptoms of the most common dental problems.

When it comes to tools, dentists are advised to avoid using ultrasonic and polishing tools due to the high risk of producing aerosols. As an alternative, these professionals may turn to the old-fashioned method of using hand tools. Such treatments are undoubtedly more time-consuming, but the efficiency is certainly equal to the one of using ultrasonic tools.

Nevertheless, in situations where the use of ultrasonic equipment is inevitable, rubber dams are considered to be effective in the process of tooth isolation. Apart from wearing protective clothing and N-95 masks, dentists are supposed to use the help of their assistants. The job of the assistants is to hold a device directed at the patient, throughout the treatment, whose purpose is to suck the water spray that comes out of its mouth. Naturally, all tools have to be cleaned properly and maintained regularly, particularly before reopening the facility.

Administrative regulations

As previously mentioned, the number of patients is expected to be minimized, if possible, providing treatment for just one individual, without other people present in the facility. Sterile instruments need to be handy, while the rest of the tools and dental supplies are to be stored in cabinets to prevent potential contamination. Even the sterilized ones that haven’t been used in the treatment should be either disposed of or properly sterilized after the appointment.

In terms of mouth rinsing, antimicrobial products can be used as a precaution, although their effectiveness in the fight with Covid-19 hasn’t been proven yet. There’s no harm in using mouthwash products prior to dental procedures, as these are genuinely capable of minimizing the number of oral microorganisms.

Ventilation system recommendations

Ventilations systems play an important role in the health protection of both patients and personnel, as these provide a constant flow of clean air, throughout the facility. Naturally, ventilation systems are supposed to be properly maintained to reduce contamination, which is why dentists are strongly advised to consult HVAC professionals.

Moreover, multiple air vents should be placed both in the hallway and in the waiting area. However, portable HEPA filters are doubtlessly more effective for the rooms where patients get their treatments.

Bottom line

Receiving dental care during the pandemic should be postponed unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Follow the guidelines to minimize the risk of infection!

 

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