COVID-19 and Going to the Dentist: Is It Safe?

Do you need to go to the dentist? Right now, it can be difficult to ascertain whether going to the dentist for an appointment is worth the risk of leaving home, amid the fears and risks associated with COVID-19. At Roots Family Dentistry, we want to put your mind at ease and assure patients that they are safe when they come in for their appointments. During this uncertain time, we are being proactive to keep patients and staff alike as safe as possible. From newly adopted safety measures to protocols and precautions, we are striving for the best dental practices possible moving forward as of June 1st, 2020.

Worried about COVID-19 when you go to your dental appointment? Here is what you need to know:

The Virus

It helps to know what we are dealing with here. COVID-19, or Coronavirus, can be spread by anyone, though the risk of illness and severity can vary. This virus is spread when someone is infected and spreads germs from their mouth or nose through sneezing, talking, or coughing. These droplets can be inhaled by others, thus infecting them with the virus. Also, studies indicate that some transmission may be through surfaces that are touched by someone infected, as the germs can stay active for up to days in some instances.

Some other things to know about COVID-19 include the following:

  • Studies show that curtailing face-to-face contact with others is the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The current protocols widely call for social distancing, which basically relates to maintaining a safe distance between yourself and others outside your home environment.
  • While there is no evidence that older individuals are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19, it does prove that seniors, as well as those with underlying medical issues and immune disorders, are more at-risk for developing serious symptoms and severe complications related to this illness.
  • It is reported that symptoms manifest between two days and two weeks following exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Some common symptoms are comparable to the flu, including nausea, respiratory distress, and fatigue. More serious symptoms include difficulty breathing, vomiting, and prolonged high temperature which all merit medical attention immediately.
  • A newly discovered and telltale sign of Coronavirus includes a newfound loss of the sense of smell or taste. This may or may not be in conjunction with other symptomology; contact your doctor or provider to learn more about being tested for COVID-19.

While this only scratches the surface regarding the implications and consequences of COVID-19, it should encourage and affirm the value of seeing your medical care provider if you feel that you are experiencing any symptoms of the illness. Testing is the most effective way to ensure you are not ill or at risk for transmitting the virus to others.

Weighing the Risks

So, what if you need dental care or have a dental emergency? There are distinct risks with delaying or neglecting dental care that can have serious repercussions. Consider also that medical and dental practices widely- including – Roots Family Dentistry are taking special precautions and steps to ensure patient and staff safety during this uncertain time.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Perhaps you have noticed that the price of personal protective equipment (PPE) seems to be climbing, while the supply seems to be scarce. Don’t worry, we have you covered; we have increased our personal protective equipment to include n95 masks, face shields, and gowns to stop the spread of germs in our dental practice.

Patient and Staff Screening

We take your health and wellbeing very seriously and are dedicated to protecting staff and patients at Roots Family Dentistry. We are currently screening all patients 24 hours before their scheduled appointment and screening them a second time when they arrive at our office for appointments. Additionally, we are taking temperatures for all staff and patients that enter our door to make sure that our practice is as safe as possible.

Protective Protocols

We love our patients and want to keep them safe. That is why we are minimizing interactions between patients and staff by having them wait in their cars prior to their appointments. We will let you know when we are ready for them to enter for their appointment, which will decrease exposure to others and potential transmission of germs.

Improved Air Quality

Since COVID-19 seems to be transmitted through airborne particles and germs, we amped-up our air quality to reduce the risks of this illness. We have implemented five Health Pro Plus IQ Air filters, top of the line, that are capable of filtering 99.5% of virus sized particles from the air that our patients and staff breathe. This system has the potential to filter the air of our entire clinic every five minutes. In fact, we have some of the cleanest air in Richmond!   No strategy is too much of an investment to ensure our patients’ and team’s safety.

Communication

Communication is another way that we are trying to help and comfort our patients during this complicated, often scary time. We are available to hear your questions and concerns by phone or contact us via our website. We are proud to say that we have gone the extra mile, above and beyond the changes recommended by the state and CDC (Center for Disease Control) to ensure patient and team safety.

Still concerned or have questions? We know that some of our patients may live with medical conditions or factors that put them at higher risk for severe complications and dangers associated with COVID-19. We are more than willing to work with our at-risk patients to further reduce risks that may be preventing them from accessing dental care and attending appointments that are needed and necessary.

At Roots Family Dentistry, we care about our patients and our staff. This is the reason why we are making all efforts to keep everyone safe, while still providing the reliable and quality dental care that our team is known for. We will go the extra mile and address potential risks to ensure we are providing the safest setting possible before letting anyone in our door- it is that simple. Call or contact us online to schedule your appointment with us today.