The Covid-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. As scientists continue to learn how the virus works, changes to regulations and covid protocols continue. For many people, this creates a sense of uncertainty about whether to schedule their regular dental check-ups from fear of Covid-19 transmission.
Dentists worldwide are committed to remaining up to date with the latest information on the prevention of Covid-19 prevention. Routine dental care is essential for overall health, as poor oral health can negatively impact other conditions like diabetes, heart disease and immune disorders. To ensure the safety of staff and patients, dental clinics follow strict guidelines, changing them as required by the government.
Information on Covid-19 Transmission
According to the W.H.O, the virus SARS-CoV-2 is known to spread between people in a few different ways.
- The virus can be transmitted through the mouth of an infected person in small liquid particles when they cough or sneeze. These particles could be larger droplets or smaller aerosols.
- Recent evidence suggests that the virus only spreads between people who are close contact (within 1 metre) of each other. Virus-containing aerosol droplets must come into direct contact with eyes, nose or mouth for it to be transmitted.
- Transmission can also occur when aerosols land on surfaces which are then touched by various people who then touch their nose or mouth without sanitising their hands.
Rest assured that dentists are fully aware of the risks involved with being in close contact with patients in their clinics. Thankfully, through integrated safety protocols, modern pandemic prevention measures and equipment are extremely effective in reducing transmission in controlled spaces like clinics.
Dental Clinic Safety During Covid-19
Keeping each other safe during an active pandemic is achievable if we work together as a community to reduce the spread. Through effective communication and open exchange of data and information, dental clinics worldwide are leading the way in creating comprehensive protocols which address potential transmission concerns.
Here are just some of the safety protocols followed by dental clinics:
- All members of staff and patients must go through Covid-19 screening and temperature checks before entering the clinic. Symptomatic individuals are instructed to remain at home and to be tested regularly as per government guidelines.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), isolation gowns, face shields, N95 masks and other specialised equipment designed to control aerosols are available to all staff. Expert training on the proper use of this equipment is mandated.
- Strict mask protocols for patients and staff which ensure proper handling of N95 masks in every part of the clinic.
- Appropriate social distancing in waiting rooms with modified or rearranged seating.
- Breaking the chain of transmission requires attention to retail. Important extra measures have been implemented at every stage, such as contactless check in and billing services to protect patients and staff.
- Enhanced and specialised hygiene practices in waiting rooms, bathrooms and commonly used surfaces.
- Staggered appointments to ensure that simultaneous foot traffic at the clinic is kept to a minimum.
- Removing non-essential items from the clinic to create more room for social distancing, and thereby reducing the number of surfaces which could be contaminated.
Maintaining Dental Health During Covid-19
Remember, dental teams were used to following the highest standards of infection control, even before the pandemic. Dentists routinely work around aerosols, saliva, blood and other tissue particles, so they know exactly what it takes to prevent infection. Contact King Street Dental today with all your dental safety questions.