Don’t avoid dental problems during Covid-19 pandemic

Considering the Covid-19 pandemic and how easily it spreads if precautions are not taken, there is a strong possibility that people could be ignoring medical issues including dental problems. Doctors and experts are of the opinion that people should avoid dental problems for the fear of getting a Covid-19 infection by visiting dental facilities.

Dentists around the world have made changes to prevent coronavirus transmission since reopening and despite these changes, some patients are still apprehensive about making an appointment.

Experts say that it is safe to visit dentists because of the precautions dentists are taking. Patients visiting these dental facilities have to wear face coverings when entering the building and care providers wear gowns, gloves, face shields, head covers, surgical gowns and N95 masks.

The CDC issued guidelines for re-opening in June, and the American Dentistry Association encourages regular dental visits. The World Health Organization recommends continuing routine care except in hot spots where there is “intense uncontrolled community transmission,” which isn’t the case in New Jersey right now.

It is not unknown that how untreated dental disease only get worse. And studies have shown link between oral health and systemic health. For example, poor periodontal health is associated with heart disease. The providers at the dental school are finding that our patients have been eager to come back.

Dentists around the world have known the importance of using PPE and keeping their offices and dental instruments clean. In the 1980s, before the HIV/AIDs crisis, dentists didn’t wear gloves, masks, surgical gowns or eye protection. With COVID, when we know more, we’ll be able to determine if the extra precautions we’re taking are necessary.

Further dental associations have issued guidelines that require installation of high-efficiency air filters that improve the amount of outside air and decrease the amount of recirculated air. Student doctors meet patients and bring them to clinics to reduce the number of people in waiting areas. Patients cannot bring extra people unless absolutely necessary. We’re at half-capacity so there are 20 feet between every patient. We continue to use high-speed suction devices, now with an additional student assigned just to hold the suction device to ensure the collection of aerosols.