It is safe to return to your dentist
Your health and safety is our priority
2020 has brought a lot of change but one thing has remained the same: the commitment of Chicago Dental Society member dentists to your safety and well-being. Amid the pandemic, taking care of your health is more important than ever. Don’t delay a routine trip to the dentist – maintaining good oral health goes hand in hand with total body health, as the mouth is the gateway to the body. Through proper oral health practices and regular checkups, you can mitigate the spread of bacteria from the mouth to other parts of the body, preventing larger issues that can affect the whole body.
At your next dental visit in the COVID-19 era, you’ll notice enhancements to dental offices to ensure every visit is safe and comfortable for patients and staff. Dentists have always been on the front lines of preventing the spread of disease, and it remains our top priority now as infection control protocols are updated and expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Good Oral Health: An Added Level of Protection
Good oral health is essential to good overall health and, amid a pandemic, it is more important than ever to keep up with good hygiene habits to keep yourself healthy. The mouth is one of the body’s first lines of defense against bacteria, and research has linked bacteria and inflammation associated with periodontal disease to systemic diseases and conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and more. While COVID-19 is a virus, medical communities suspect bacterial superinfections may contribute to complications, such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), heightening the importance of maintaining strong oral health and hygiene. Preventative dental care and strong oral hygiene creates an additional, critical barrier of protection to prevent greater health complications.
What to expect at your next dental visit
When it comes time to return to your dentist’s office, you may be wondering what additional precautions have been taken to ensure your safety. While the physical office and appointment process may look a little different, be assured that these adjustments have been made with your health, safety and comfort in mind. Some of the changes and upgrades you can expect include:
Before your visit
- A deep cleaning of treatment rooms between patient appointments, and more frequent cleaning of restrooms and common areas. Magazines, toys, remote controls and other high-touch items in waiting rooms have also been removed to limit the spread of germs.
- To reduce time in the office, the patient intake process and registration may be completed online or over the phone prior to your appointment.
- You may be asked to complete a COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire a day or two prior to your appointment.
While you’re at the office
- An additional health screening may be conducted when you arrive on site at the office, including a temperature check. Doctors and staff may also complete a chairside checklist prior to beginning a procedure.
- Office layouts have been updated to promote social distancing, along with new measures to protect staff at reception, including front desk staff wearing masks or other protective gear and possible sneeze barriers.
- In some cases, you may be directed to wait in your car or in an alternative waiting area. Fewer appointment times may also be offered to space out patient arrivals and departures.
- Dentists and staff will also look a little different, and will be wearing additional Personal Protective Equipment as an added layer of security for you and them. This may include masks, gloves, face shields and gowns.
Ongoing safety precautions
- As always, we are following the latest infection control recommendations made by OSHA, CDC and the ADA to ensure we are in accordance with their guidance at all times.
- If you are unsure whether you should visit the dentist at this time, please consult your doctor to determine a care plan best suited to your situation. It is important not to skip seeing the dentist if care is needed - seeing a dentist can help stop small issues from becoming bigger health problems.