For the past few weeks, you’ve been strictly following social distancing protocol. Suddenly, a stabbing pain shoots through your mouth out of nowhere. Uh oh, you have a toothache! Since you’re not eager to catch the coronavirus, you’re a bit hesitant to pick up the phone and call your dentist in Gorham for an emergency appointment. The great news is that your dentist’s office is actually one of the safest and cleanest places you could be, even during a pandemic. Keep reading to learn some of the safety protocols that all dental practices follow.
Much like any other medical practice, dental offices take safety and cleanliness very seriously, now more so than ever. Dentists take great care to make sure they and their patients stay germ-free. These are some of the preventive measures they take:
- Hand washing: Each member of your dental team washes their hands right before and after interacting with a patient. Along with wearing gloves during the appointment, this prevents the spread of any and all germs from team member to patient and vice versa.
- Use of PPE: Your dentist wears PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, during every single procedure they perform. PPE includes masks and gloves, both of which keep you safe from the spread of germs.
- Tool sterilization: Rest assured that any instrument that your dentist or hygienist uses has been thoroughly cleaned. The CDC mandates that no dental tools should be reused from patient to patient without being first disinfected.
- Office sterilization: The staff at your dental practice takes great care to clean the whole environment from top to bottom. Every exposed surface in an operatory is completely disinfected between appointments.
Even when we’re not in the midst of a global pandemic, most dental offices are among the most sterile places you can be. However, because we are dealing with a serious public health issue, many dentists are taking extra safety measures.
Understandably, the coronavirus pandemic has many people concerned about their safety. Although most dental offices are closed for regular appointments like cleanings, many of them are still attending to emergency patients as needed. They are aware of the importance of keeping a completely sterile environment to receive medical care.
The majority of practices are doing things such as:
- Checking the health of every staff member every day
- Having patients wait in their car instead of the waiting room until the doctor is ready
- Offering some consultations online
- Wearing extra PPE such as surgical gowns, face shields, and shoe coverings
Again, even during normal times, your dentist’s office is one of the safest places you could be. Their standard sanitation precautions, coupled with new safety measures for COVID-19, guarantee that you are as safe as possible. If you have a dental emergency on your hands, you shouldn’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call your dentist in Gorham.
About the Author
Dr. Ted Morgan has been serving the dental needs of the greater Portland area for more than 45 years and counting. He achieved his doctorate at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. Currently, he maintains active memberships in the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, and DOCS Education. Have a dental emergency? Don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Morgan’s practice at (207) 839-2655.