Is It Safe to Visit a Dentist’s Office for a Dental Emergency?

When faced with a dental emergency, especially while the world battles the COVID-19 outbreak, you want the reassurance of knowing your dentist’s office is safe and clean. Although all practices must adhere to strict sterilization guidelines, this virus is causing additional precautions to be taken to ensure the safety of everyone working at or visiting a local dental office. If you’re wondering what kind of protocols your dentist in Rochester is following, spend some time reviewing the following information, so you and your family can feel confident about seeking help when necessary.

Practicing Effective Hand Hygiene

Dentists and their teams are required to practice good hand hygiene at all times. This includes washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after putting on gloves. This continuous washing should occur any time an instrument, equipment, materials, or other objects are touched with bare hands. Employees are also expected to wash their hands before and after treating a patient.

Pre-Screening Patients Over the Phone

To prevent the possible spread of COVID-19, dental teams are instructed to perform a pre-screening over the phone when a patient calls to schedule an appointment. Individuals will be asked about the status of their health and whether they have or are currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e. fever, difficulty breathing, coughing). If the person is sick or has symptoms, they will be provided detailed instructions to care for their situation at home and allowed to come in at a later date. If the individual is healthy, an appointment will be scheduled.

Wearing Necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Doctors and nurses in hospitals throughout the world are donning facial masks, face shields, gloves, protective eyewear, and disposable gowns. So are dentists and their team members. Before treating a patient, they are instructed to put on necessary PPE to prevent the possible transmission of the virus. Because many dental procedures, especially those which are the result of an emergency, involve blood and/or bodily fluids, it is important for staff to be appropriately covered.

Adequate Signage About Rules and Regulations

Patients who visit the dentist’s office for assistance will notice additional signage that explains proper handwashing techniques, what to do if you sneeze/cough and the importance of practicing social distancing. You will likely find extra tissues, facial masks, and trash cans readily available for individuals coming into the office as well.

Additional Sanitizing and Disinfecting Measures

Whether it is a dental instrument, piece of equipment, countertop, or other surfaces, you can trust that your dental team will be sanitizing and disinfecting every aspect of their office. You may even notice your dentist using single-use items to further minimize the potential risk. If the dental team is unable to discard an instrument, they will be expected to follow the instructions for effective sanitizing according to the manufacturer.

Should you experience a dental emergency during this time, don’t wait to seek help. Because of the additional protocols and precautions they’re taking, your dentist’s office is one of the cleanest places you can visit right now.

About the Practice
At Gentling Dental Care, our team of four highly trained dentists work together to treat every type of patient and their needs. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, we can only see individuals who are experiencing serious dental emergencies. The good news is that if you or a loved one suffer from a severe infection or have a knocked-out tooth, you can feel safe visiting our office because of the extra precautions we’re taking. From wearing personal protective equipment to thoroughly disinfecting and sanitizing all instruments, equipment, and surfaces, you can count on our practice being a clean and virus-free environment. If you need immediate assistance and are looking for a “dentist near me,” visit our website or call (507) 288-7379.