Dental offices are experienced at preventing the spread of airborne illnesses, which makes going to the dentist a low-risk activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Experts recommend that everyone visit their dentist for a checkup and cleaning at least twice a year. Dental visits are an important way to detect cavities and other harmful conditions, and to prevent these issues from worsening. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, people have begun to wonder whether a biannual checkup is still a good idea. After all, dental checkups require us to take off our surgical masks, and to be in close contact with our dental care providers.
So, is it safe to go to the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic? The answer is: yes!
Don’t just take it from us — there’s plenty of evidence that supports the safety of dental offices during this time. Let’s discuss why dental offices are an especially safe healthcare environment during the pandemic, and why it’s important to keep up your dental health with regular checkups.
What COVID-19 Precautions Do Dentists Take?
It makes sense that cautious patients might worry about going to the dentist during a pandemic. After all, COVID-19 is an airborne virus — and a dental appointment requires you to sit with your mouth open for an extended period of time. With this kind of maskless exposure, how can the dentist protect you from COVID-19?
In reality, the risk of airborne disease in dental offices is what makes dentists well-defended against COVID-19. Dental offices already have strong procedures in place to prevent the spread of diseases. That’s why dentists wear surgical masks whenever they’re near your open mouth — even before the pandemic. To avoid topical transmission of viruses, bacteria, and other infections, dental utensils are thoroughly sterilized between each use, and they remain in sterile protection until their next use.
In addition to standard protections against disease transmission, dental offices have taken caution a step further during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many dental offices have blocked off certain areas of the waiting room to enforce good social distancing practices, and they have removed entertainment materials like books and magazines from the lobby.
If you go to the dentist now, the standard procedure of your appointment will likely be exactly the same. However, dentists commonly use additional protective layers, like face shields and surgical gowns, to minimize transmission as completely as possible.
Dental Hygiene in a Pandemic
Certainly, no amount of precaution can assure 100% effectiveness in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, dentists demonstrate consistently low rates of transmission, likely due to the preparedness of dental offices in preventing the spread of disease. Dentists have taken a wide range of precautions that have proven effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in their offices.
Even in a pandemic, maintaining good oral health is an important way to avoid pain and complications down the road. Whether you have a toothache, a minor mouth injury, or simply need your biannual checkup, dental appointments remain an important and safe part of your healthcare routine.
At Espire, your safety is our priority. For qualified dentistry with a patient focus, request an appointment today. Your smile is too important to wait!