The New Normal: Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind During Your Dental Visit

With dental offices across Canada entering stage 3 of the pandemic, more and more dental offices are opening up to patient visits. When you do get to your dental office at Lakeside Family Dental, you will notice several significant changes to the office and procedures. Here we talk you through the safety precautions dental offices have in place to help keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enhanced Screening Procedures

Before you step foot in the office you will speak to a staff member to determine the nature of your issue and to see if it is possible to help over the phone without an in-person appointment. This screening is to reduce the number of patients in the dental clinic at any given time.

If you do require an in-person appointment, you will receive a phone call a day or two before your appointment. You will be asked several questions about your general health. This is to determine if you have been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19 and if you have any symptoms. The dental staff will also ask about your temperature during the screening call.

Photo by Anton

Patients are not the only ones being screened. To keep everyone safe, the staff at the dental clinic will have their temperatures taken daily and be asked to sign a statement about recent exposures or if they have any symptoms. Any staff not feeling well or with any symptoms will be asked to stay home.

Teledentistry

Many dental issues can be solved over the phone and do not need an in-person appointment. Your dentist can hear about your issue over the phone and determine the severity and clinical need when you call. With teledentistry, you have the benefit of getting care and treatment, without having to leave your home.

PPE and Cleaning

Staff at the dental clinic will be wearing full Personal Protective Equipment or PPE to protect their patients and themselves. This equipment includes masks, face shields, and gowns. Every dentist must ensure they have the right PPE before any in-person appointments. They will change PPE between patients and also schedule time in the procedure room between patients for cleaning and ventilation.

Scheduling

Your appointment will be carefully scheduled to minimize patient waiting times in the waiting room and allow for social distancing. Patients entering and exiting the clinic will be staggered. Patients will also be encouraged to wait outside or in their vehicles until called into their appointment.

Patients will be asked to check-in by phone when they arrive for appointments and to wait outside the clinic until called. Caregivers are limited to one person per patient to help reduce the number of people in the office at one time. Patients will also be asked to make any future appointments over the phone instead of in person.

At Your Appointment

At your dental appointment for Invisalign for teens at Legacy Orthodontics or root canal treatment in London, you will be greeted at the door by a member of staff, wearing PPE. You will be asked a series of health-related questions and your temperature recorded. You will then be asked to clean your hands and wear a mask before being escorted into a procedure room.

Clear pathways in one direction will help get patients to their procedure rooms safely. Anyone accompanying a patient, such as a parent or a guardian will also be screened and will be required to clean their hands and wear a mask. Dental offices also ask patients to make payments in safe ways that limit exposure such as through credit card or debit card.

Rest assured your dentist is doing everything they can to keep you and your family safe during this time and these precautions will help us all adjust to the new normal.

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