COVID-19 hit, and suddenly even a simple trip to the dentist became anxiety-inducing for at-risk patients. Although the virus can infect anyone, those who are over 65 or who have a pre-existing medical condition are particularly susceptible. With a higher likelihood of contracting the virus coupled with the mandates to stay at home for safety, many began having concerns about their upcoming dentist visit. Here are four common concerns of at-risk patients, answered by a dentist.
How Do I Keep Myself and My Loved Ones Safe?
For at-risk patients, safety is a top priority. In order to remain healthy and prevent the virus from entering your system, it is important to implement germ-fighting best practices in your home. Here are a few places to start:
- Wash your hands with soap and water after using the restroom, taking out the garbage, putting on your shoes, and preparing food.
- Wear a mask or face covering when completing essential errands.
- Utilize delivery services for any medication and groceries.
- Focus on a vitamin-rich diet.
- Stay at least six feet apart from others (i.e., social distancing).
Should I Keep My Appointment at the Dentist?
The stay-at-home order was implemented in an attempt to flatten the curve by reducing contamination from both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. However, essential trips are often exempt from that guideline, especially when they pertain to your overall health. In cases like this, it can be helpful to know the difference between what is considered a nonemergency vs. emergency visit in a pandemic.
- Nonemergency visits
- Cosmetic dentistry
- Other elective procedures
- Emergency visits
- Excessive bleeding
- Abnormal pain
- Infection in the teeth or gums
- Broken teeth
- Other life-threatening conditions
If you have any concerns about whether you should keep or reschedule your appointment, make sure to give your dentist a call to help make your decision.
How Is my Dentist Ensuring Safety at my Appointment?
Trips to the dentist both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic look very different from before. Dentists are taking extensive measures to limit the spread of germs by:
- Providing additional training for staff.
- Requesting patients over the age of five wear masks.
- Not allowing anyone into the waiting room more than five minutes before his or her appointment.
- Asking screening questions before the appointment.
- Cleaning the chairs between each use.
- Wearing additional personal protective equipment.
What if I Am Showing Symptoms?
Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are all symptoms that have been linked to COVID-19. If you are experiencing any of these signs, or a combination of them, then it is important to reschedule your appointment and take the below precautions:
- Seek medical treatment.
- Arrange for caregivers when you are released.
- Create a separate bedroom or space for you to quarantine in.
- Monitor your symptoms.
- Stay in touch with your healthcare provider.
Visiting your dentist for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19 can be anxiety-inducing, especially if you are considered high-risk. Fortunately, your dentist has been using the past couple of months to prepare for a secure, safe re-opening for you and your loved ones!
About Generations Dental Care
With eight experienced doctors on staff and an exceptional team for support, Generations Dental Care has been a staple of Concord, NH for over 100 years now. In that time, they have built their reputation on relationship-based treatment that focuses on your comfort and smile. To get more information on serving at-risk patients during COVID-19, visit their website or give them a call at 603-225-6331.