When the COVID-19 epidemic began last March, dental clinics closed to everyone except emergency patients. Sitting in your dentist’s chair without your mask on and your mouth wide open for an extended amount of time was viewed as a “moderate risk.” Understandably, this caused many people to put off needed dental care that wasn’t classified as an “emergency.” But what we know now, over a year later, is that your dentist’s office is one of the safest medical offices you can visit.
There are no known transmissions of COVID-19 in the dental setting – either from patient to provider or provider to patient, according to the ADA. This is completely opposite of nearly everyone’s fears at the start of the pandemic. People believed that due to aerosolization involved in some dental procedures and the “up close and personal” nature of dentistry that it could not be safe. But dentistry is and has always been safe, which has been reaffirmed over the course of the past year.
Dentists are infectious disease experts. Since the 1980’s HIV and AIDS epidemic, dentists have treated everyone as if they have a communicable disease and implemented universal precautions to protect themselves and their patients and prevent cross-contamination from one patient to another. The protocols that were mandated in the beginning of 2020 due to COVID-19 have already been in place in dental offices for decades. Dentists and their staff have always worn masks, though now of higher quality, eye protection, gloves, and worked vigorously to keep themselves and their patients safe. This includes thorough sanitization, disposing of gear between patients, and stringent, frequent cleanings of all rooms and communal surfaces. The new health protocols that evolved due to COVID were already the standard practice for dentists. The biggest changes that occurred in the field of dentistry in terms of safety were changing our patient protocols – screening patients before-hand, having patients wait in their cars, temperature checks, and limiting the amount of patients we see per day in order to take extra time sanitizing rooms.
COVID-19 has reaffirmed how effective dentists are at protecting patients and staff from communicable diseases. Despite the information originally shared in 2020, sitting in your dentist’s chair without your mask and your mouth wide open is an extremely safe place to be.
The team at Reflections Dental Care has always been vigilant about keeping our patients safe. At RDC our team continues to…
- Use germicidal UVC lights in all HVAC systems to kill or deactivate germs, mold, and viruses
- Pre-screen and take temperatures for all patients
- Frequently clean all communal surfaces
- Use PPE with all patients
- Use of isodry or Leaf mouthpiece to reduce aerosolization
For more information or to schedule an appointment, simply visit us online or give us a call!
Visit us at one of our two locations in Oklahoma City: