Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, many states ordered all non-essential businesses to close and patients were advised to cancel any medical procedures that were not necessary. This included routine dental procedures like cleanings. Today, as we approach one year since the pandemic began, those standards have been relaxed somewhat, and the Centers for Disease Control believe that it is safe to visit the dentist, as long as both the clinic and the patient are following their recommendations. At ZDental, we are committed to following all CDC protocols at each of our five locations in New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. Here are some ways we can work together with you to provide dental exams and other services safely during the pandemic:
Assess Your Risk
The CDC has advised that non-essential dental treatments should be postponed if there is a high risk of transmitting COVID-19. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you show symptoms, or if daily COVID-19 cases in your area are high, it’s a good idea to reschedule. If you have an appointment scheduled soon, monitor your health and be sure to cancel if you start experiencing symptoms. Before you leave for your appointment, take your temperature and cancel if you have a fever.
Minimize Time Spent in the Dental Office
Because COVID-19 is more likely to be transmitted among large groups of people, it’s a good idea to spend as little time in the office or waiting room as possible. If you arrive early for your appointment, check-in and then wait in your car until we are ready to treat you. After your appointment, don’t linger; make any necessary arrangements for payment and future appointments, then head out as soon as possible.
Safety Equipment and Masks
Masks should be worn any time you are in a public place; that includes the dentist’s office. When you arrive for a dental appointment, keep your mask on until your dentist or hygienist instructs you to remove it. We have also stepped up our protective equipment protocols and will be wearing masks, gowns, gloves, eye protection, and full-face shields during your appointment.
Hand Washing and Hand Sanitizer
To slow the spread of COVID-19, the CDC has advised everyone to wash their hands more frequently, especially after having contact with other people or surfaces that may be harboring the virus. ZDental’s dentists and hygienists always practice medical hand washing protocols and we will be paying even closer attention to the cleanliness of our hands. If you’re coming in for an appointment, we encourage you to do the same. Ideally, you should wash your hands with soap and water before and after your appointment; if you’re not able to do that, hand sanitizer can take care of any lingering microbes until you can get to a sink.
Maintaining good oral health is crucial, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can still safely visit the dentist for routine cleanings and other procedures as long as you make an effort to obey CDC protocols. We will be doing our part at every one of ZDental’s five locations in New Jersey and the Philadelphia area, so it’s up to you to help keep our staff and other patients safe when you come in for an appointment. Visit our contact page to find the location nearest you, and be sure to cancel your appointment if you begin feeling ill or showing symptoms of COVID-19.