If age, lung problems, or a weakened immune system make you vulnerable to experiencing severe symptoms from COVID-19, then you may be considered a high-risk patient. While preserving your health is crucial in a pandemic, regular visits to your dentist can ensure that your oral care is intact and that there are no dangerous oral symptoms present (i.e., abnormal swelling, unusual dark spots, etc.). If you require dental care but are feeling some anxiety around your next appointment, here are four things your dentist is doing to care for a high-risk dental patient in Lovell.
Innovative Patient Scheduling
As you know, abiding by the stay-at-home orders is vital. To limit the number of visits high-risk patients have to make to the office, dentists are implementing a new patient appointment procedure. Through sequenced patient scheduling, your dentist’s office will be able to control foot traffic, thoroughly disinfect between each patient, and provide every service you need in one visit. Each of these measures is crucial in ensuring that at-risk patients receive the treatment they need while also mitigating the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Extensive Personal Hygiene Standards
Even before this pandemic, your dentists and their team received extensive training on infection control standards mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, in light of the current climate, those measures are being amplified to include:
- No long fingernails.
- Hair must be tied back or placed in a cap.
- No nonessential jewelry allowed.
- Contacts over glasses (to avoid the eyes being touched throughout the day).
Significant Sanitation Measures
While new research is being conducted daily, the importance of thorough handwashing has remained an instrumental tactic in the fight against the spread of germs. To ensure that high-risk patients are protected from potentially harmful bacteria and viruses, you can expect:
- Consistent handwashing.
- Hand sanitizer available throughout the office.
- CDC-approved instrument sterilization.
- Cleaning after every appointment.
- Deep cleaning each evening.
Social Distancing Protocol
As an at-risk patient, when you are required to leave the safety of your own home, you must practice social distancing to limit the exposure to harmful germs. While your dentist will eventually breach the 6-foot distance, they are putting measures in place to practice physical distancing in other areas of the office by:
- Offering a hands-free greeting (i.e., elbow bump, friendly wave, etc.).
- Providing virtual waiting cues that allow you to wait in your car until the treatment room is ready.
- Re-designing physical waiting rooms with expansive space between each seat.
- Removing communal activities (i.e., magazines, toy chests, etc.).
- Recommending virtual follow-up appointments when applicable.
For high-risk patients, exposure to the novel COVID-19 virus could result in life-threatening symptoms and urgent treatment. Fortunately, your dentist is taking painstaking precautions to ensure your safety at your upcoming visit.
About the Author
After receiving his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Louisville, Dr. Anderson built a brand-new practice in Lovell dedicated to providing exceptional dental care. With an expertise in general dentistry, Dr. Anderson uses his impressive experience to help patients of all ages achieve the beautiful smiles they deserve. If you have any questions about his dental safety protocol in Lovell, visit his website or give him a call at 307-548-7654.