Dental practices have been temporarily closed in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but now that many are reopening for non-emergency appointments, many people are concerned about whether or not it is safe to visit their dentist's office.
How do dentists prevent spreading COVID-19?
Dental offices have a good track record for their high adherence to infection control procedures, with clear guidelines in place for keeping the tools and environment clean and sterile to prevent transmission of disease.
Since reopening in the wake of COVID-19, additional procedures have been recommended by the CDC. Some of these include:
- Cleaning all surfaces of the exam room before each patient enters. This includes the chairs, countertops, drawer handles, and the like.
- Anything that might prove difficult to clean and sanitize regularly may have a protective cover put over it, which will be replaced after each patient.
- Any disposable dental tools are used for one patient and then discarded.
- Tools that aren't disposable are sterilized after each patient.
- To protect the staff and the patient, the dental team will wear personal protective equipment, or PPE. This includes gloves, masks, gowns, and eyewear. Disposable gloves and masks will be replaced after each patient is seen.
These are a few of the basic ways to help prevent infection, but there are also methods that go above and beyond the CDC's recommendation. These include HEPA air purifiers, aerosol suction and filtration, UV purification lights, Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL) fog, and others, all working together to make the dentist's office as safe as possible.
If you have any concerns about COVID-19 safety or would like to know more about the precautions being taken by our office, please feel free to contact us.