After months of lockdowns, anxiety surrounding the ongoing pandemic is still looming in the air and causing people to cautiously avoid or differ services which may be critical to their health. Not only are we talking about things such as socialising or restarting ‘normal’ activities we used to do before the Covid-19 outbreak, but mainly services which we forget are crucial to our overall health. One of the main one being dental appointments. As of June 1st, the ODA (Ontario Dental Association) has made a framework of guidelines to ease dental professionals and their patients back into clinics. These new rules coincide with general guidelines for Covid prevention and safety but in a way that makes the transition back to dental appointments as stress free as possible.
Along with reopening dental clinics and ensuring these new measures are abided for patient safety, a local North York dental clinic has emphasised how important it is to check in with your dentist after this period, but also that oral hygiene and dental health is a major part of overall health. This is because oral problems that may have been overlooked may develop into more serious health issues and finish with a trip to the hospital emergency room.
It has been noted that dental clinics are just as safe and maybe even safer from Covid than hospitals themselves. The new measures put in place by the ODA and dental clinics themselves ensure staff and patients are prevented from Covid from start to finish.
Rules such as mandatory Covid screening questions prior to appointment, outdoor waiting, sanitisation, specific times between appointments to allow for disinfecting, cleaning and filtering the clinic for the next patient and not to mention staff wearing full PPE for emergency appointments are all ways in which dental clinics are adapting to resuming their service.
The important note here is that dental clinics are trying to remove the anxiety of your dental visit in order to ensure any oral hygiene issues that may have arose during the lockdown period have not become worse. North York dentists have stated that deferring or cancelling your appointment during lockdown or now because of Covid anxiety may cause bacteria in your mouth to travel to parts of the body which may be more susceptible to infection or can cause a serious health problem. They have also mentioned that the rise in urgent or emergency appointments are higher now because people have neglected their oral health and are unsure about the reopening procedures and processes. The message is that safety and prevention are top priority for dental clinics. Not only to protect patients, but staff also.
Clinics are now working longer hours to give way to these new measures as well as making sure that each appointment is efficiently executed.
Dental clinics are aiming to ensure that new and existing patients know the dangers of deferring your dental appointment and the effect it can have on your overall health and also the advanced preventative measures taken to ensure Covid safety for everyone involved in a dental appointment.