As states have begun relaxing restrictions put in place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are asking if it’s safe to return to their dentists. On April 30, 2020, the American Dental Association ended its recommendation to postpone dental care. To help you decide if returning to the dentist at this time is right for you, here are some guidelines for scheduling an appointment and what you can expect before and during your visit.
Dentist offices across the country are making changes to ensure the health and well-being of patients, dentists and office staff. Many safety protocols were originally developed to stop the spread of bloodborne illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, but COVID-19 has required dentists to rethink safety practices in order to stop airborne illnesses. For example, dental tools have always been sterilized between patients, but new practices may include wiping down and disinfecting all surfaces in examination rooms. These new practices may mean that fewer appointments are available each day, as it takes more time to clean and sanitize in between seeing patients.
All around the country, dentists and their staff are working hard to provide a safe and healthy environment. The experience the next time you visit your dentist may be different than you remember and may take some time to get used to, but we can all work together to manage the risks of COVID-19 and keep smiling.
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