If you’ve been wondering if it’s safe to go to the dentist during a pandemic, this may help.
A new survey by the American Dental Association shows that dentists are reporting a low rate of COVID-19. In fact, less than 1 percent of dentists nationwide have tested positive for COVID-19. This result is far below that of other health professionals in America.
The report includes responses from nearly 2,200 dentists who were surveyed in June 2020 and found that the majority of dentists (82 percent) reported being asymptomatic one month prior to the survey. And close to 17 percent said they had a COVID-19 test. Out of those tested, less than one percent (0.32) were given a probable positive diagnosis by a doctor.
Why Dentists are Reporting Low Rates of COVID-19
What’s contributing to this low rate? Experts say it’s because of the disinfectant practices and safety precautions dental offices have had in place for decades.
“Dentists are following ADA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, and it’s helping to keep the dental team and their patients as safe as possible,” Marcelo Araujo, DDS, MS, PhD, American Dental Association Science and Research Institute chief executive officer and a senior author of the report, said in a press release.
The guidelines published by the CDC cover safety measures that range from proper hand washing to sterilization and disinfecting patient-care items and devices.
This is reassuring news for many since we know that our mouths are an entry point for microorganisms that cause disease, including coronavirus. So good oral hygiene matters not only to the health of your mouth, gums, and teeth, but to your overall health as well.
Ways We Protect You
It’s our goal to protect our patients and staff, so we have implemented the following COVID-19 safety precautions:
- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office and we will take your temperature.
- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
- We no longer provide magazines, children’s toys and so forth in our waiting room since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- While we have always maintained strict infection control in our office, we have made changes to further protect you and ourselves. These include a state-of-the-art air exchange system which includes a medical-grade HEPA filter, UV light and electrolytic ionization (destroys viruses, bacteria and molds).
- In addition to meticulous cleaning and sanitation, we will be using a fogging system daily and in between patients. This fogging system is a new disinfectant that kills the virus on contact, but is safe for everyone.
- Most of you are familiar with our office. We respect your time and appointment with us. We will be paying extra attention to social distancing through our seating arrangements and by staggering appointments.
We’ve implemented these safety precautions with you in mind. If you have preferences or concerns about this, please make us aware. To schedule an appointment, please call our office at 716-675-9225 or request an appointment online.