Keeping up your smile is crucial to keeping up your physical health. It’s so important that it’s recommended that you visit your dentist every six months instead of whenever something comes up that requires an emergency visit. When you visit your dentist regularly, you’re doing preventative care.
Just because you don’t have an immediate issue, that does not mean that you do not need to see a dentist. Your dentist will check your mouth for cancer as well as head and neck cancer. They will check you for any abnormal lumps on your head or neck and check for any red or white patches in the mouth. Doing these simple checks will catch any concerning issues before they become larger problems.
Regular check-ups with your dentist are also a great way to get feedback on your at-home dental care. They will be able to show you the proper way to care for your teeth in between teeth cleanings. If you are considering starting teeth whitening, they can tell you the best option for you.
Overall, visiting your dentist on a regular basis is great preventative care. They will catch problems before they become out of control. They can even give you advice about whatever your specific needs are. With that being said, you cannot let the current times deter you from looking after your oral health. If you’re worried about visiting your dental office, whether you go to Stead Willis DMD or a family dentist you have known all your life, here are some tips for vising your dental office after lockdown and what you should expect.
Typically when you arrive to your dentist office, you show your insurance card and sign in. Now the process may be a little different. It may require some extra steps. All dental practices, no matter where you live, have to make sure that you’re feeling well enough to come into the office. You can expect to be contacted before you walk in to make sure that you are not showing any signs of COVID-19.
When it comes to making appointments or just showing up to your dentist office without an appointment, those days are long gone. Typically patients will have to call the office to schedule appointments. If you don’t have an appointment, you likely won’t be able to come into the office. They’re trying to limit the number of people in any given area at the dentists’ office, particularly in the waiting room.
Waiting Room Changes
Speaking of the waiting room, there are many changes to be made in this area too. A staff member at the reception may request to check your temperature, making sure that you do not have a fever. You can expect it to either be from an ear thermometer or those gun thermometers that can scan your forehead to check your temperature. You can also expect to have your hands sanitized upon your arrival.
Just like your trips to the grocery store, there may also be a protective barrier separating you and the receptionist. In some offices, you may be asked to wear a face mask along with shoe covers. They may also ask you to put your personal belongings in a clean bag to help reduce any accidental contamination of the virus. The waiting room will be modified to abide by the 6-foot social distancing rule, and you may not see as many people in the waiting room.
Dental Team Workflow Changes
You can rest assured that most dental offices will be well ventilated, meaning you do not have to worry about breathing in recycled air that may be contaminated with the virus. Do not be alarmed if your dentist is also wearing personal protective equipment like a face mask, face shield and gloves. You may or may not be able to spit in the sink, so you can expect to have your saliva suctioned out instead. There may also be some changes to where certain procedures are performed. For those that create high levels of spray, it may be done in a completely different room. There may be longer wait times in the waiting room because any non-emergency procedures will be prioritized under patients that need immediate assistance. Because they are making sure to clean the area thoroughly after each patient, the extra wait time in between patients may also be due to that. Rest assured that they have come up with smart techniques and best practices to reduce the spread of the virus, even in their dental office.