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!

Dental Hygiene Tribute | Dr. Esther Wilkins

Some 28 years ago, I purchased a book “Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist” written by Dr. Esther Wilkins. 
I was honored to have met Esther earlier this year at Yankee Dental Congress. Esther recently celebrated her 100th birthday, completed the 12th edition to our clinical book and still found the time to be open to new ideas for discussing how we … as a collective group can continually & successfully create a culture of prevention for our patients. 

The fact she participated in a new informational format … the inauguration of Coffee Chat with Anastasia still humbles me. 

Thank you Esther … for your vision, passion, boldness, leadership, entrepreneurship & quick wit! You will be missed by all of us. 

Thank you to Crest Oral-B for Dental Professionals!

Enjoy this tribute!