For the past several months, many of us have been fearful of leaving home, let alone visiting the dentist. But as restrictions have eased in the past weeks, many health leaders are encouraging patients to add dental visits to their agendas again.
Dental offices were closed across the United States and Costa Rica after being advised in March by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to close their practices to all but emergency care. Some remain closed, but most dental clinics are now open and ready for business, albeit with new safety protocols to keep patients and staff safe from the risk of viral contagion.
In Costa Rica, the restrictions against routine care have been loosened, allowing patients to attend dental appointments. Is it really safe to go to the dentist now?
“The concern about the risk of transmission of COVID-19 during a visit to the dentist is understandable. Dental clinics require specific infection control considerations,” says Patrick Goodness, CEO of Goodness Dental in Costa Rica. “Our staff uses equipment that goes into patient’s mouths, so people have a natural inclination to be concerned, especially during a pandemic. However, our team is taking extraordinary measures to disinfect the treatment room, instruments and surfaces between patients as well as insisting upon patient sanitizing measures during their visit,” says Goodness.
No cases of COVID-19 have been linked to dental offices.
Both the World Health Organization and the CDC say there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 transmitted in a dental office to date.
The best dental clinics are adhering to guidelines from the American Dental Association and the CDC to ensure compliance with all safety protocols. Goodness Dental, ranked by Global Clinic Rating as one of the top five dental clinics in the world, remans vigilant in implementing strict safety measures to keep patients and staff safe during patient care.
Wyatt Dekins, a recent patient at Goodness Dental noted, “I have been nervous about going anywhere since March. But when I went to Goodness Dental for my new crowns, I felt immediately at ease.”
Dekins was welcomed and guided through a series of safety protocols and made to feel comfortable abut their commitment to safety.
“They led me straight to the hand sanitizer,” he says. “Then they checked my temperature. Everybody wore masks until I had to take mine off for them to start my dental procedures. My dentist had a full face shield when they were working to my mouth. I was very happy with their attention to detail.”
Goodness Dental follows the guidelines established by the CDC. These include:
- Screening patients before each appointment, and when they arrive, for symptoms of COVID-19 — such as cough and fever — and postpone if they have symptoms that might indicate they have the virus.
- Using each patient’s car or a spot outside the office as the waiting room.
- Requiring masks for patients, visitors and staff.
- Use of rubber dams over a patient’s mouth for procedures when possible to limit spray of secretions.
- Installation of high-efficiency particulate air filters to improve room filtration, which may reduce transmission of airborne virus particles.
Should you delay dental care?
Delaying checkups or care for dental pain can potentially transform a cavity into a root canal or tooth extraction. Patients that delay important dental care often create more problems and add considerably to the cost of future care. The worst part is that by delaying dental care, many patients eventually face more painful care further down the road. more pain. In rare cases, delaying important dental care can result in serious infections and even death.
Dentists want to keep you safe.
“Dentists are typically very close to their patient’s faces during treatment,” says Vayolla Quiros, Business Manager at Goodness Dental. “To do their work well, dentists need to get into people’s mouths. They are used to taking considerable precautions to protect against infection. Our team are even more aware of their responsibility to keep patients safe during the COVID crisis. We are implementing the best science as we go forward, and constantly improving disinfection and working harder at eliminating viral transmission.”
“Patients should discuss with their dentist what is necessary to do right now and what can wait,” Goodness says. “More than ever, patients need good dental care to keep healthy. Through September, Goodness Dental is offering dramatic discounts on almost every dental procedure to help get patients the care they need at affordable prices during the COVID crisis. If you’ve been putting off dental care because of COVID or the high cost of dental care, now is the time to schedule an appointment.
“Goodness Dental is open and is employing rigorous safety protocols to keep patients safe during their dental care. With so much bad news these days, it’s important to take care of your smile.”
Contact Dr. Peter Aborn at [email protected]
This story was sponsored by Goodness Dental.