Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist During COVID-19?

Pre-COVID-19, dental offices were one of the cleanest areas that you can be in. And even during COVID-19, they still are. For a very long time, dentists have been required to adhere to very strict sanitization standards and protocols that you wouldn’t see other than in a hospital. In the midst of a global pandemic, COVID-19 has only reinforced those standards even further. 

If you’re overdue for your twice-a-year cleaning, but feel apprehensive about stepping foot into your dental office, here’s why you have nothing to worry about––from a dentist’s perspective.

Dentists Use Protective Equipment and Barriers

Dentistry workers know how important personal protective equipment (PPE) is at all times when seeing and working with patients. When examining the mouth, team members will be wearing nitrile gloves and surgical masks in order to protect themselves and their patients from spreading and contracting germs.

Workers will also be required to use disposable gowns or reusable lab coats for additional safety. Your dentist will also use plastic barriers to cover any surfaces where germs can easily spread.

Proper Hand Hygiene

Before leaving the operatory or after touching something that may be infected with germs, dental professionals must wash their hands. Soap and water is a hygienic solution, but you may also see your dentist sanitize their hands with medical-grade hand sanitizers in their offices. Regardless of the sanitizing solution your dentist uses, you’ll notice they have to replace any torn or cut gloves during the appointment, and throw them away immediately. Hands are then washed thoroughly, and a new pair of gloves are put on. 

Proper Dental Equipment Sanitation

All dental instruments used during a dental appointment are sanitized thoroughly or replaced prior to use. This includes scalpel blades, forceps, disposable syringes and needles, scales, and other tools used in a dental setting. Dental instruments that can be reused will be properly sanitized by a dental assistant who knows the sanitization protocol.

Strict Sanitation Protocols

Dental offices already adhere to a strict sanitation regimen to eliminate the spread of germs. However, with COVID-19, the methods for sanitation are causing offices to enforce an even stricter protocol to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This protocol may look like multiple deep cleanings throughout the day, wiping down every surface after a patient leaves, and using strong chemicals like bleach to kill any remaining germs. 

Proper Waste Disposal

Proper waste disposal is important in any setting that deals with pathogens, human bodily fluids, and waste. When it’s time to dispose of materials, whether it’s a dental bib, or a cloth used to clean up saliva or blood, it’s done so in a way that does not allow the spread of infection or bacteria. 

Metal tools are stored in puncture-resistant bags before being stored, and all other materials are disposed of safely and securely––to prevent the spread of germs and infection.

COVID-19 has a lot of us afraid to leave our homes––and rightfully so! But it shouldn’t keep us from taking care of our dental hygiene. As a dental office, LeCroy Dental prides itself for being a safe, clean environment for your family. Our dental professionals are taking extra measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and protect your loved ones. 
Call our office to book an appointment. We’d be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.