CDS launches #SAFESMILES – a public awareness campaign to promote the safety of dental offices
Patient safety and well-being remains a top priority in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic
July 13, 2020 (CHICAGO) – The Chicago Dental Society (CDS) launched a new public awareness campaign #SAFESMILES to reinforce public confidence in the safety of dental practices and emphasize the importance of maintaining good oral health. Dentists are extremely experienced and well equipped to prevent the spread of disease, and are implementing additional safety measures to protect patients and staff in the era of COVID-19.
“It is more important than ever to take care of your health and, as dentists, we know that good oral health is essential to your overall health,” said CDS President Dr. Terri Tiersky. “As patients return to the dental office, they may notice that things look different than the last time they were there, and that’s a good thing. These enhanced safety measures and modifications have been made with their health, safety and comfort in mind.”
Some of the changes patients can expect to see are the removal of magazines, toys, remotes and other communal items in the waiting room; increased cleaning protocols in treatment rooms between patients; adjusted waiting room layouts to accommodate social distancing; increased personal protective equipment; and health screenings prior to their appointment and when they arrive on-site. CDS member dentists are also closely following current clinical guidance from federal, state and local authorities, including OSHA, ADA and CDC, to make any necessary adjustments in light of COVID-19.
A recent poll from the American Dental Association (ADA) indicates that dental offices have made a big comeback after the shutdown, with 97% of dental offices open for elective care as of June 15, an increase from only 3% in early April. While total patient volume was down more than 90% at that time, it has since rebounded, with nearly 50% of dentists surveyed reporting that they are back to 75% or more of what a typical week in their practice looks like.
While patient concerns about safety are understandable, delaying necessary or routine dental care can pose an even greater risk to patients’ overall health. Research has proven that there is a direct connection between oral health and whole-body health and that poor oral health is associated with other chronic diseases and medical conditions including oral cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and more.
CDS member dentists want to stress to the public what they already know well – that dental offices are safe, and dentists and staff are highly experienced infection control experts who are skillfully navigating enhanced infection control protocols during the pandemic.
Learn more about the #SAFESMILES campaign and how dentists are keeping their offices safe by visiting cds.org/safety.
About the Chicago Dental Society
Trust a Chicago Dental Society (CDS) dentist with more than just your smile. Talk with them and you'll see their work is an investment in not just your oral health, but your overall health. They are current on the dental trends and technology through extensive CDS continuing education programs, including the Midwinter Meeting. Ranking among Chicago’s top 20 conventions, the CDS Midwinter Meeting – one of North America’s largest exhibits of dental products and professional dentistry – welcomes approximately 30,000 dental professionals each year, and generates more than $32 million for the local economy (according to Choose Chicago). The largest local affiliate of the American Dental Association, the non-profit Chicago Dental Society represents dentists across the Chicago region. They're your neighbors, friends and community anchors. Connect with the Chicago Dental Society at cds.org, where you’ll find our easy-to-navigate Find-a-CDS Dentist search tool. Or, connect on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.