The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things about our daily lives. Your regular visits to the dentist have changed, too. In March, the American Dental Association and Colorado Department of Public Health recommended that dentists postpone all but emergency procedures until May 8th to help reduce the spread of the virus; save masks gloves and other personal protective equipment and help keep patients who need emergency treatment from going to busy hospital emergency rooms.
Now that this date has passed and states are reopening, dental practices are seeing patients for non-emergency appointments. The American Dental Association has developed science-based guidance to dentists on extra steps they can take, in addition to the infection control procedures they’ve always followed, to help protect their patients and staff. Here’s what you can expect at your next appointment.
Before Your Appointment
To help make sure that patients arriving for their appointments are healthy, we will call you before your appointment and ask you some questions about your current health. We will also repeat these questions when you arrive to make sure nothing has changed.
Currently the way we are scheduling is to allow for social distancing throughout the office and for extra time in between patient appointments for additional disinfection precautions. Your original appointment times may need to be adjusted to make these accommodations. Our staff will speak to you personally about any requests to change your reserved time with us.
At Your Appointment
Please be sure to wear a face covering or mask to your appointment. If you arrive early to your appointment, we ask that you wait in your car until your exact appointment time. This will reduce the number of people in the office and reduce the amount of time you’re close to other people.
Inside the office, you may notice things people often touch in the waiting room – like books, magazines, couches and chairs – have been removed. When you enter the office, we will have hand sanitizer available for you to use and will then direct to you an area to have your temperature taken. We will wipe down any items you or our staff touch, such as pens, clipboards and thermometers.
When you’re in the dental chair, you may notice some things look different from the last time you were there. Our staff are wearing different protective equipment than they’ve used at previous appointments. This includes different masks, face shields, gowns and goggles. These additional precautions help protect both you and the Doctors or staff.
After Your Appointment
After your appointment is over, the staff will thoroughly clean the areas where you’ve been, using disinfectants that are effective against the virus that causes COVID-19 to prepare for the next patient. This helps reduce the risk of illness being passed to others.
If you start feeling ill with the symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of your appointment, please call our office. It is possible you may have already been carrying the virus at the time of your appointment, so anyone who came into contact with you during that time could be at risk for getting sick too.
Remember, regular dental visits are an essential part of your overall heath. We will reach out to you soon if we haven’t seen you in sometime to schedule your dental checkup. We are doing everything we can to make sure your future visit is as safe as possible for everyone involved.