Coronavirus Pandemic has affected the whole world without leaving a single country and has affected all aspects of life which include Dental Treatments as well. All Dental Associations across the world have announced every Dental Clinic to close down all treatments except Emergency procedures by following strict protocol by having Personal Protection Equipment for Dentist and Dental Assistant along with following proper Clinic Sterilization. All Dental clinics and hospitals across the world have closed their clinics for general appointments like a check-up, teeth whitening, scaling or cleaning, etc. It is important to minimize foot traffic at Dental Clinics which are open to making sure that there is no cross-contamination between patients and Dental staff.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions by patients who are calling up our Dental Office regarding the Coronavirus Lockdown and Dental Treatments during this time.
FAQ’s for Dental Visits during COVID-19 Pandemic
Can I Visit the Dental Clinic during Coronavirus Lockdown?
Every Dental Association across the world have issued statements requesting Dental Clinics and Hospital to shut down and allowing them to perform only Emergency Dental Procedures – List of Emergency and Non-Essential Dental Procedures. It is best if you avoid any visit to the Dental Clinic or Hospital if you do not have a Dental Emergency. Please avoid Dental visits for General Checkups, Orthodontic treatments, Fillings, Scaling or polishing, Teeth Whitening, Gingivitis, etc. It is best to give a call to the Dental Office and explain your problem after which the Dentist will decide whether it is worth it to risk a Dental Visit.
Why are Dental Clinics being closed?
Dentists and Dental Staff have the most exposure to Coronavirus, as most dental treatments lead to formation of Aerosols that contain Coronavirus particles in millions. These Aerosols will be spread across the Dental clinic settling down on hard surfaces like the dental chair, equipment, walls, etc which when touched by others can lead to spreading of infection from one patient to others and also to Dental staff. With many publications stating that Coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces for many hours, it makes it very difficult to maintain a perfectly sterile working field and it makes it impossible to clean all in a short span of time between appointments, for proper fumigation of all clinical surfaces it take a minimum of 1 hour and this is the reason why you should avoid all non-emergency procedures or visits to give time for proper sterilization.
Do I need to tell my health issues and travel history or Exposure to others with travel history?
Yes, you need to be clear and upfront about your recent travel history and also about any of the Symptoms of Coronavirus such as Fever, Cold (running nose), Cough, Body pains, difficulty in breathing. It is important to disclose any personal travel information or of anyone close to you as the incubation period of Coronavirus is anywhere between 7-21 days and many patients are asymptomatic as well. There are many cases around the world where Dentists and Dental staff have been affected by Coronavirus due to important information being held off by patients.
What Dental problems can I Visit Dental Clinic?
Visit a Dental clinic only after calling the Dental Office and setting up an appointment, as during this time it takes a lot of time to properly sterilize the Dental working area after each appointment. Only Emergency Dental procedures are being performed during this Lockdown period such as – Acute Dental Abscess (Swelling), Ludwigs Angina, excess Orthodontic wire leading to an ulcer, Infected or loss of temporary restoration after Access opening has been done in RCT treated tooth, suture removal, etc.
How does visiting a Dental Clinic affect me during Coronavirus lockdown?
Dental Clinics are generally well sterilized to avoid cross-infection from diseases like Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, etc which come under Airborne diseases while HIV, Hepatitis, Herpes, etc come under Bloodborne diseases.
But with Coronavirus, because of the amount of time, the virus survives on surfaces which can make the whole clinical working surfaces risky of transmitting the infection to Dental staff and patients. Another important aspect of Coronavirus infection the complete lack of symptoms in some patients even though they are infected and can transmit the infection to others through aerosols.
What Dental Treatments will be done during Coronavirus Lockdown?
Only Essential or Emergency Dental Treatments should be performed such as Fracture of the tooth, Acute Abscess, Cellulitis, Suture removal, Pus Drainage in a chronic abscess which is not decreasing due to medication, tooth avulsion treatment, loosened bracket or the wire leading to ulcer in the cheek or lips can be cut, Crown fixations (Anteriors), Complete denture adjustments, etc .