Is it safe to go to the dentist during COVID-19?
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the American Dental Association (ADA) had recommended all dental offices to stop non-urgent services in March. After months of closure, many dental offices have resumed regular services including cleaning, fillings, crowns and Invisalign. However, many patients are still concerned about going to the dentist. Here's what you need to know about dental care during COVID-19.
What to think about before going to the dentist?
Even before COVID-19 started, dental offices and other healthcare facilities always follow strict infection control protocols to prevent the spread of bacteria and virus. All the rooms are wiped down after each patient. Instruments are sterilized before reuse. Providers always wear PPEs like surgical mask and gloves.
However, COVID-19 poses higher risk because it spreads through respiratory droplet. Many dental procedures are "aerosol generating", which means they produce small respiratory droplets into the air. Aerosol generated from dental procedures have the potential to float in the air for extended period of time and thus can potentially contaminate the clinic environment and spread virus. In essence, to ensure patient safety, dental offices have to implement additional safety measure to minimize and contain aerosols.
What are we doing to ensure patient safety?
At Carlmont Dental Care, patient safety is our top priority. Here's what we've done to maximize the safety of our patients
Strict screening protocol
Brief phone screening the day before appointment
We ask that every patient call the office when they arrive at the parking lot. Our staff will ensure the rooms are ready and no other patients are in the clinic.
Mask is required to enter the clinic environment
Temperature is taken, followed by 30 seconds of antimicrobial rinse.
Additional written COVID-19 Screening questions are completed in the room
Maximum Aerosol control
We always use 2 intraoral suctions + state-of-the-art extraoral aerosol suction machine for any procedure that generates aerosol
All rooms are private with natural ventilation through patio door to the balcony
Air purifier are used in each room
Truly private appointments
Yes! We're committed to only seeing one patient at a time. You'll have a truly private visit and have the whole clinic all to yourself
Enhanced PPE & disinfection protocol
Providers wear enhanced PPE including hair cap, full length disposable gown, Double masks with N95 and level-3 surgical mask, Face shield.
All private treatment rooms are thoroughly wiped down and left ventilating for minimum of 1 hour before reuse
Providers are routinely tested for COVID-19
What options do I have if I still prefer to wait?
We understand that not everyone will be comfortable visiting the dental office right now. Thus, we do offer Virtual Visit for any patient who has any concern about their oral health and would like to talk to Dr. Nancy Jiang directly.
We also recommend insured patients to tentatively book a visit before the end of the year so you can maximize your insurance benefits. All appointments can be changed at no charge with 48 hour notice.
At Carlmont Dental Care, we're committed to safeguard patient safety while providing quality dental care to all of our patients. Please feel free to contact us for any questions regarding your dental care.
Carlmont Dental Care