As people begin to return to the dentist’s office for regular checkups and cleanings and elective procedures, you may be wondering if it is safe to do so because of the continued threat of COVID-19. Your dentist in Marysville understands your concern but with additional safety measures being implemented in dental practices throughout the United States, you may be surprised to learn that your risk of potential infection is extremely low. Read on to find out why you can have greater peace of mind when preparing for your next dentist’s appointment.
In recent months, national health and safety officials have compiled a series of guidelines for dental offices to incorporate into their daily operations. Members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) have collaborated to ensure patients can feel safe and secure when returning for regular dental care.
While a dentist’s office is a prime location for bacteria, viruses, and even chemicals to wreak havoc, additional equipment is beginning to appear in treatment rooms to minimize transmission and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and other harmful pathogens.
You will immediately feel much more at ease when you arrive for your appointment because of the many visible changes occurring, including team members wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), fewer patients in the office at one time, and the continued effort to practice social distancing between staff and patients.
Your dentist’s priority is to keep all patients healthy and safe. The same can be said for their team members. To accomplish this, they are implementing the very guidelines listed above, but there is another dental safety protocol in Marysville they are also incorporating – the minimalization of aerosol-generating procedures.
During a regular checkup and cleaning, you may recall various instruments being used to clean your teeth. Some of these result in saliva and other bodily fluids spraying or splashing upward from your mouth. These small pieces of equipment can produce a host of particles that can enter into a dental team member’s eyes, nose, or mouth if not properly covered. Fortunately, the PPE your dentist is wearing will prevent this from happening. However, once the particles become airborne, they can remain there for hours or days, potentially infecting other patients and staff.
By using other dental instruments that do not produce aerosols, this significantly lowers the risk of transmission, keeping everyone better protected. Of course, not all aerosol-generating procedures can be avoided. In these situations, your dentist will make sure advanced chairside suction is used to minimize the number of particles entering into the air.
Keeping a dental office clean and safe for everyone is not an easy task, but fortunately, team members are well-versed and experienced in this arena, which is why you can have greater peace of mind the next time you see your dentist.
Dr. Michael Giovine is a dentist in Marysville, WA, who is taking every precaution to maintain the highest level of safety and cleanliness within his dental office. He and his colleagues want to assure you that all protocols and guidelines are being followed to maintain a virus-free environment. If you are getting ready for an upcoming visit and want to know what we are doing to prepare, visit our website or call (360) 651-2900.