What Dental Patients Can Expect From Dental Practices In A COVID-19 World

This week Anastasia answers a viewer’s question, “I have an upcoming wellness visit with my dental hygienist, what can I expect from my dental practice?”

Is your dental practice keeping you in the loop? Are they sharing what to expect from their practice as they reopen? A video on their social media pages? Have you received a newsletter? Text or email? Is it on their website?

Here is what dental patients can expect.

1. Pre-screening questions BEFORE you get to your dental practice for your dental visit.

2. As soon as you walk in, there should be hand sanitizer + forehead or temporal thermometer. Some practices will have pulse oximeter.

3. In a perfect world, as soon as you enter, have your temporal temp. taken you are immediately taken into the treatment room. * In a next to a perfect world, you are social distancing in the reception room with very few people & everyone is wearing masks. NOTE: There are no magazines, coffee / tea stations, or kids’ toys.

4. TREATMENT (Wellness or Restorative) Your dental team will look different. In addition to PPE, gloves, masks, lab coats or scrubs, protective eyewear or loupes … LOOK FOR Surgical caps, gowns, booties AND face shields. (THIS IS IMPORTANT) Expect your appointment to take longer. Expect the dental team to minimize aerosols by doing the following *PreRinse *Selective Polishing or Zero Air Polishing * Hand instrumentation verse Ultrasonic *Rubber dams when dental handpieces are used for restorative. *Use of HVE (I’ve called it the mac daddy suction)

5. Teledentistry – may be for consultations, or virtual exams (no contact) Personally, I’d recommend that once your treatment is completed that you use hand sanitizer & place your mask back on prior to paying for your service at the front desk. Always ask your provider questions. This is your health.

Finally, breathe and smile!