As you prepare to reopen your dental office, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. According to a survey, nearly 20% of dentists have expressed concerns about maintaining their practice if current restrictions remain in place until the end of June. To ensure that patients who come to your appointments are healthy, your dental office may call you before the appointment and ask you some questions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Dental Health and Safety Topics page provides more information on standards relevant to dentistry in general.If you need urgent care, your dentist may refer you to a colleague in the office.
The bloodborne pathogen standard does not specifically apply to occupational exposure to respiratory secretions, although saliva may contain respiratory secretions (and, in dentistry, the standard applies to occupational exposure to saliva). A survey conducted in April by the North American Dental Group, which operates 230 dental offices across the country, found that 71% of respondents felt uncomfortable going to the dentist for a “non-time-sensitive” dental procedure.The staff at your dentist's office may also ask you to limit the number of people you bring to the office. If your state or local government or your dentist's office requires people to wear masks in public, be sure to wear one at your appointment or you will be provided with one. The dentist may also be wearing protective equipment different from the one used in previous visits.Infection control experts said patients, dentists and their staff should weigh their risks, which vary depending on where they live, their age, and other factors.
Ethical and financial reasons were the main drivers for dentists in this sample to reopen their offices for routine care. Dental employers must provide, and dental workers should use, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when exposed to potential sources of SARS-CoV-2 in the workplace.Your dentist will be able to manage your problem appropriately considering your state of isolation. The ethical, health and financial challenges that arose during COVID-19 require dentists to adapt and be better prepared to face future crises. Even when dentists get authorization to resume regular visits, it's not known how many patients will be postponed for fear of coronavirus infection.Matthew Messina, spokesman for the American Dental Association (ADA) and dentist in Columbus, Ohio, said that with additional precautions such as having patients wait in their cars instead of small waiting rooms and having dentists wear face shields, people should feel comfortable going to the dentist even if they are elderly and at high risk of complications due to COVID.