Since late March, dental offices have been closed for most procedures, other than urgent care and emergency appointments. During the week of May 4th, 28 states opened for elective dental services and more than 30% of practices across the nation are back to work.
And on May 19, following guidance provided by the Governor, dental offices in Washington resumed regular appointments.
Regardless of when your local dental office opens, scheduling appointments and visiting the dentist may look a bit different. Every dental office is different, but all of them keep your safety, and the safety of their team, as the highest priority. When you make your next appointment, here are some of the things that you might encounter.
1. Your Dentist Knows Best
Your local dentist is the most reliable source of information for office re-opening and hours of operation. Our network dentists’ maintain an ongoing commitment to patient safety.
2. Pre-Screening questions or requests for additional health information:
At each visit, both dental staff and patients play their part to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. You may be asked these questions prior to each appointment:
- Are you experiencing a cough, high fever or shortness of breath?
- Have you had close recent contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
- Have you travelled in the past two weeks?
3. You’ll see other changes to the office and treatment rooms. They are all being done out of an abundance of caution to ensure your safety.
- They may include:
- Being asked to wait in your car until your hygienist or dentist is ready to see you
- Requirement to wear a mask as you enter and leave the office
- Request to take your temperature
- Physical distancing in waiting room
- Partitions for check-in and operatories
- A reduction of high touch items such as reusable pens, magazines or children’s toys
- Dentists, hygienists, assistants and front office staff wearing new or different forms of personal protective equipment.
If you have additional questions about scheduling an appointment or your upcoming dental visit, please contact your dental office for the most current information. Rest assured your dentist and dental office staff are working to keep you, your families and our communities safe and healthy!
Review your dental coverage before you go.
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1. American Dental Association: HPI Poll - May 11, 2020