Even with the number of COVID-19 cases increasing, we have seen improvements over the past few weeks in how the spread of the virus is slowing down.
Some states, which have a lower number of infections, are already starting to bring back the local economy with essential and non-essential services re-opening.
In North Carolina, Phase 1 of the state reopening commenced on May 8th and many businesses are gradually starting to open their operations. This includes dental practices, which are considered essential under the state policy.
Dental Practices are Reopening in North Carolina
Under the first phase of the state re-opening, dental practices can now provide in-office dental care, which can begin with routine oral care and can slowly increase in capacity as the pandemic normalizes.
As a response, the dental community led by the American Dental Association and the North Carolina Dental Board of Examiners have released guidelines for best practices during COVID-19. These guidelines are new safety measures and protocols that dental practices should implement in their workplace, also in accordance with the CDC infection prevention and control in dental settings.
What You Should Expect When You Return for An In-Office Dental Visit?
As you return to the dentist for a consultation or treatment, don’t be surprised by the “new normal” procedures they have. These are all geared to care for you better during the pandemic.
So, what should you expect on your next visit to the dentist?
Set up an Appointment
Before you can get a schedule, a pre-screening may be conducted to assess your condition with questions relating to COVID-19. This is to ensure that you are well prior to an appointment, so, please be honest with your responses.
Please take note to limit bringing companions to your dental appointment. If someone comes with you, most dental practices will recommend that they wait in the car.
Visit to the Dentist
As soon as you enter the premises, you may be provided with hand sanitizer and your temperature may be checked. The pre-screening interview may be repeated for each dental appointment to make sure nothing has changed.
In case that you have an elevated temperature or any symptoms or exposure to COVID-19, you might be referred for coronavirus testing, with full confidentiality.
Once you pass the onsite screening, you will be allowed to receive a consultation and/or treatment with your dentist.
After the procedure, you will be reminded to report to your dentist any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 within the next 14 days.
Safety Measures and Protocols Implemented by Dental Practices
Upon re-opening, your dental practice should have cleaned and sanitized every part of their facility following the infection control guide by CDC. Also, the dental staff should have gone through COVID-19 screening, too, to make sure no one in the practice is infected.
The physical distancing measure should be observed. No visitors will be allowed unless they are essential for the welfare of the patients. In such cases, visitors will also be pre-screened.
Supplies such as alcohol-based hand rub, soap and tissue should be provided at certain places in the office. Signages reminding about COVID-19 prevention such as handwashing, physical distancing and the likes should be posted within the office’s premises.
Everyone entering the office is required to use a face mask. The staff can wear other PPEs such as face shields and goggles. When on treatment, the dentist and assistants should be donning full PPE and should have a chairside checklist of the procedure. Sterilizing dental tools and equipment should be done before, during and after treatment.
These are just some of the procedures and measures that your dental practice should be observing. For the complete guide, you can also read the “Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit” by the ADA.
Genesis Family Dentistry in Uptown Charlotte Re-Opens
It is time to schedule your dental appointment again at Genesis Family Dentistry in Uptown Charlotte. We encourage you to schedule your appointment and visit us for your dental care. You don’t have to be in fear when visiting our dental practice because we have implemented the safety procedures and measures as discussed above. We abide by the guidelines set by the ADA, CDC and our state board.
Rest assured that we are going the extra mile to provide you with the safest and best dental services amidst COVID-19.