How We’re Safely Providing Dental Care in the Age of COVID-19

by | May 18, 2020 | Dentistry

Dental care isn’t separate from healthcare but an important specialty within it, for oral health and systemic health are totally intertwined. You can’t have one without the other. Holistic, biological dentists understand this perhaps better than anyone.

dentist holding mirror to teethYet in the new age of COVID-19, the uniqueness of many dental procedures creates some real challenges when it comes to patient – and dental team – safety. The rotary handpieces, ultrasonic scalers, and air/water syringes we use all create a fine spray that contains things like water, saliva, debris, blood, and microbes, and settles on anything nearby – not just surfaces, but the dentist, the assistant, and the patient, too.

This is why dental offices have been closed for all but emergency care since the seriousness of the pandemic became clear.

But while conventional dental offices have scrambled to get the necessary PPE and equipment to contain these aerosols, biological dental offices like ours are several steps ahead.

This is because our office has been mercury-free and mercury-safe for years. The equipment we use to protect our patients and ourselves from exposure to that potent neurotoxin also helps limit the spread of COVID-19 in the dental setting. This includes

  • Full-body coverings, eye protection, and hair coverings.
  • A sealed nose covering delivering oxygen to the patient.
  • Respiratory-grade masks for the staff.
  • The use of rubber dams whenever possible to isolate the teeth to be worked on and limit the oral inhalation of aerosols.
  • An oral aerosol vacuum placed in the work space.
  • An IQAir unit to purify the air with 7 separate HEPA filters and UV light.
  • Ozonated water in the water lines, to keep them pathogen free and also to rinse the patient’s mouth.

These have been standard since we first began practicing mercury-free, mercury-safe dentistry, and now they are the new norm.

Since reopening our office to the public, we’ve implemented additional safety measures, as well:

  • Patients are asked to wait in their car until they’re called in for their appointment.
  • As soon as patients come in, we have them wash their hands, and we take their temperature. If they’re running a fever or showing any signs of COVID-19, we ask that they reschedule.
  • We also ask them several screening questions about potential COVID exposure. Again, if there’s a chance they may have been exposed, we ask that they reschedule.
  • All staff members get their temperatures checked twice daily – once in the morning and once at noon. If any one of them is running a fever or exhibiting other COVID symptoms, they’re sent home for the day.

We want you to feel confident coming back to our office – or coming into our office for the first time – certain that we are doing everything we can to keep you safe as we provide you and your family with the expert dental care you need.

If you have any questions or concerns about our safety procedures, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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We regret that we cannot comment or offer advice on specific, personal dental health situations on this blog. Just give us a call at our office instead: (817) 461-9998. We’d be glad to speak with you.

This blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for individual health, fitness or medical advice.

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