This month, dental practices across the nation are reopening their doors so patients can get the preventive, restorative, and cosmetic services that they need. The uncertainty of COVID-19 can make a simple dental visit seem risky, especially if you’re not aware of what safety precautions your dentist in Reston is taking to keep you safe. With 18 new safety protocols in place, you’re sure to feel comfortable and confident that your dentist truly is prioritizing your health. Read on to learn about five of the ways they’re making the dental office safer during COVID-19.
When you contact your dentist’s office, they’ll conduct an over-the-phone screening to make sure that you or none of the people that you’re living with are experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms. Then, once you arrive at their practice, they’ll also take your no-touch temperature to ensure that you’re not running a low-grade fever, which is one of the most common early symptoms of the virus.
IN-OFFICE SOCIAL DISTANCING
Studies have shown that bodily droplets, like saliva, can spread six feet or more in confined areas. That’s why your dental office is implementing social distancing by removing chairs in the waiting room and preventing patients from coming into contact with other patients in the waiting area. This prevents droplet spread, which is a key contamination factor.
STAFF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
The entire dental staff, from the front desk administrator to your dentist will be wearing personal protective equipment at all time. Depending on the position and how frequently they come into contact with patients, this could include everything from a mask to disposable protective coats and hats. These will be changed out between patients to minimize cross-contamination of treatment rooms and prevent saliva or bodily fluid spreading from patient-to-patient.
SANITATION BETWEEN PATIENTS
Your dentist has also considerably increased their sanitation and disinfection measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They are allotting time between each patient’s scheduled appointment to thoroughly disinfect the treatment area, waiting area, and all dental instruments before the next patient arrives. They will also be using disinfectants that follow strict CDC protocol.
ADVANCED CHAIRSIDE AIR SYSTEM
Bacteria and germs can be turned into dangerous aerosols during certain dental procedures that used high-powered gadgets, such as a polisher. Without the proper air and suction system to purify the treatment area, these aerosols can spread up to 20 feet and even travel outside of treatment rooms. Your dentist has outfitted each treatment room with advanced chairside suction systems to prevent this from happening and improve the air quality, reducing your risk of becoming ill.
These are only a few of the special safety protocols being made to make sure that your safety is being prioritized. To learn more about other precautionary measures, you can always contact their office directly. Don’t be shy when it comes to doing your homework and making sure that your health is in good hands!
About the Author
Dr. Wayne Myles has decades of experience in dentistry under his belt. He provides comprehensive dental care, including every treatment from routine checkups and cleanings to sleep apnea therapy. His dental practice is reopening and taking appointments for all new and existing patients. To schedule a visit or learn more about safety protocols in place, visit Smiles by Myles’ website or call (703) 925-0800.