The apprehension of visiting a dentist during Covid-19 pandemic is widespread and quite understandable.
There is a requirement for immediate reassurance from the dental fraternity, to educate the general public about the facts and care taken during this crisis.
Primarily we need to understand the importance of maintaining oral hygiene and dental health.
Why is dental health important?
- Infections in teeth and gums can be carried to other parts of the body like the heart or other organs.
- Long-standing deposits or calculus destroys the gums.
- Loss of teeth associated with pain and swelling
- Food lodgement
- Difficulties in chewing
…and many more associated disorders.
This would lead to a compromised situation that becomes complex to treat, taking a lot of effort, time, and expenditure.
Prevention is always better than cure. Visiting a dentist is a must.
How could we visit dentists during a pandemic?
This is to enlighten everyone about the care taken by dentists and staff, not only during Covid-19, but since many decades ago.
We need to understand that viral infections like HIV, Hepatitis B, etc have been some of the greatest challenges dentists ever faced. As more and more strains of viruses unleashed, it became paramount to safeguard the health of dental staff and their patients. Hepatitis B and HIV are more dangerous than Covid-19, and any dentist could be mist unfortunate to get infected, because, infection, would mean a sure collapse of body’s immune response.
It was since then that almost all dental offices stringently started following strict sterilization protocols. Safety for patients and safety for the staff was the primary requirement.
Sterilization with chemical disinfectants like povidone-iodine, surgical spirit, phenols, and many latest products available in the market ensures primary safety. Viruses die in these media.
Autoclaving, radiation with UV light, ethylene oxide, and fumigation assures 100% safety against any microorganism.
Mouth masks, mouthwashes, Betadine rinses, headgear, face shields, gloves, respirators, PPE kits, suction kits, and everything else have been brought into full use by dentists. And these safety precautions greatly reduced the chance of any infections.
This fact has been proven beyond doubt even before Covid-19 started.
Following the same sterilization protocols with Covid-19, and some additional measures like
- Telephonic consultations
- Avoiding crowding by offering spaced appointments, with half an hour gaps
- Repeat sterilization after every patient is checked
- Effective disposal management with great care
- Maximum utilization of disposables
- Taking proper history according to government rules
- Strictly adhering to health department directives
- Regular Covid checks
- Minimalistic aerosol producing procedures
- Proper follow-up to ensure the patient is safe and uninfected.
– resulted in less than 1% of dentists reporting Covid-19.
This is indeed a spectacular control and management of Covid-19 virus in the dental setups. Research proved there has been substantially low Covid cases with dentists compared to other health departments.
Dentists also advocated certain lifestyle changes like diet modifications, regular exercise, maintenance of oral hygiene, use of Betadine rinses, and other adjuncts that could help their patients stay protected from the virus.
This is absolutely great news for all those who fear going to the dentist in these times.
Dentists reassure you.
Fear not, for well-established facts speak for themselves the safety at a dental office. Select an office that follows rules to the word and comply with the instructions, and we are sure we would be safe.
Dental treatments can unquestionably and undoubtedly performed, even for senior citizens, under a controlled environment.
Dentists suggest not to delay any treatments, as it might complicate things.
Visit your dentist today, but follow their instructions and advice, we bet Covid-19 will not reach you.