Almost every industry has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. While many medical settings remained open and available to the public, dental practices were forced to close their doors.
Now they have reopened, dental teams and patients have been forced to adapt to new processes and restrictions. Keep reading to find out how Coronavirus is affecting your dental practice.
PPE is now commonplace in all medical settings across the country. Dentists are now required to wear surgical masks to protect against saliva splashes and droplets. What’s more, they will wear a disposable plastic apron and gloves. It’s also vital for a dentist to wear fluid-repellent gowns when performing aerosol-generating procedures.
Dental practices need to invest in high-quality infection control clothing, which they can source from the likes of Medical Supermarket. If a visitor displays Covid-19 symptoms, they must be told to leave a practice and should not enter an area where there are vulnerable patients.
Triage All Patients
Dental practices must telephone triage all patients who require dental care. After a dentist assesses a patient’s complaint via telephone, they can decide whether they need a face-to-face appointment and treatment. Dentists must also request that patients come alone or with one visitor, if possible.
Every dental practice must ensure only essential visitors attend with patients, such as the parent or guardian of a pediatric patient. It is also vital for a practice to consider whether a visitor should wear PPE during an appointment to reduce the risk to themselves and others.
Practices must also limit entry points to manage risk and visitor restrictions. Plus, all patients and visitors should be instructed on various hand hygiene procedures when entering a practice, and signage must be displayed. Plus, all visitors must not enter another care environment unless asked to do so.
Patients Must Wear Face Masks
While it is not possible for patients to wear face masks during a dental appointment, they must wear a mask when in a waiting area. For the foreseeable future, both patients, dentists and support staff must wear masks in communal areas and should distance from others, when possible. However, a patient will not be required to wear a mask if it could comprise their clinical care, such as oxygen therapy requirements.
While dental practices have always been required to maintain a high level of cleanliness, the Covid-19 pandemic requires extra measures to be taken to protect against infection and Coronavirus.
For example, the following surfaces must be decontaminated at least twice per day:
Bathroom and door handles
Touchpoints (e.g., corridor handles and lifts)
Electronic equipment (e.g., desk phones, keyboards, tablets, desktop computers, etc.)
Attending a dental practice during the Covid-19 pandemic can be daunting. It is, however, essential to remember that dental practices across the country are taking to the steps to protect your health and safety, from wearing PPE to decontaminating areas many times per day. It is, therefore, essential to follow hand hygiene practices as soon as you enter a practice and to maintain a distance from both patients and staff when possible.