Ever since COVID-19 cases started cropping in the United States, you’ve been diligently adhering to the CDC’s recommended guidelines of practicing social distancing and wearing a mask when you go out. One day while you’re working at home, your dentist in Towson calls you and says it’s time for your biannual checkup and cleaning. You schedule your appointment, but when you get to the office, things are a little different. Why is your dentist’s team asking you to do so many different things? Keep reading to learn why.
Why Do I Have to Wait in My Car?
Waiting rooms are full of activities like magazines and toys. Because people frequently touch these objects, the reception area can quickly become a breeding ground for germs. For this reason, it’s much safer for everyone if you wait in your car instead. This way, when the dentist is ready to see you, you can walk straight past the waiting room and into the treatment area.
Why Are They Asking Me to Rinse My Mouth Out?
When your dental team uses certain instruments to treat you, particles called dental aerosols may be produced. Dental aerosols contain saliva, blood, and germs that may be present in your mouth. These particles can float in the air for several minutes or even hours before settling on the ground. During this time, the germs may infect your dentist or the patients who sit in the chair after you. Rinsing with mouthwash helps to kill the majority of germs in your mouth, reducing the risk of aerosol contamination.
Why Do I Have to Wash My Hands?
An estimated 1,500 bacteria live on every square centimeter of the skin of your hands. Touching something in the office could then spread those germs. Because of this, it couldn’t hurt to thoroughly scrub your hands clean with soap and water and kill those germs.
Why Are They Taking My Temperature?
One symptom of COVID-19 is a high fever. Your dentist’s team wants to make sure you’re healthy, which is why they’ll take your temperature with a no-touch thermometer upon your arrival. If you do have a fever, the team will know to take extra precautions when treating you.
Why Is the Dentist Wearing So Much Extra Gear?
Your dentist and their clinical team are wearing more PPE (personal protective equipment) than they used to, such as face shields, shoe coverings, and surgical gowns. This creates more layers between you and them, making it more difficult for germs to spread from person to person.
Healthcare professionals like your dentist in Towson have only your best interests at heart. That’s why they follow all of these safety protocols. Rest assured that you should be able to receive the dental care you need without worrying about infection.
About the Author
Dr. Devon Conklin earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. She has attended post-graduate training at the prestigious Pankey Institute to hone her restorative dentistry skills. Her practice adheres to all of the safety protocols described above and more in order to ensure her patients’ safety. To learn more, you can visit her website or call (410) 583-7010.