Dentistry in the Time of Covid-19

Dentistry in the Time of Covid-19

Our world has dramatically changed. Covid-19 has upended much of the normal routine that once helped define our everyday lives. We now quarantine, wear masks, and socially distance ourselves from others. We have no idea how long this virus will continue to wreak havoc, and many of us remain uncertain about what activities are safe and which we should try to avoid.

At the onset of Covid-19, a mandate from Governor Brown prohibited Oregonians from seeking routine family dental care in East Portland. Patients could only receive urgent or emergency dental treatment. Now, with restrictions lifted, patients can once again visit Dr. Arend for dental exams, cleanings, and cosmetic dental care. Of course, just because patients can once again receive family dental care in East Portland doesn’t mean they feel comfortable with the idea.

The measures most of us take daily to help lower our risk for contracting the coronavirus – wearing a mask in public and practicing social distancing – are simply impossible to continue once in a dental chair. The need to remove their mask and allow Dr. Arend and our staff to get close can cause many patients to pause and reconsider whether dental care is right for them during the current pandemic. Fortunately, dental care remains as incredibly safe and as necessary as ever.

Recently, a spokesman for the American Dental Association (ADA) noted in Scientific American that, “At dental offices, we were doing universal protections—such as disinfection and PPE [personal protective equipment]—before it was cool.” For patients concerned over their safety and health, know that, yes, it is safe to visit a dentist for routine care. At East Portland Dentistry, we welcome our patients to return, knowing that the highest precautionary measures are in place.

Working to Protect Your Health

At East Portland Dentistry, our dentists and hygienists have always followed stringent health code practices, and we steadfastly abide by ADA, CDC, and OSHA guidelines for safety. Simply put, we have continued to follow all existing guidelines while also expanding our own internal safety protocols.

We, like dentists nationwide, have amped up our commitment to public health so that our patients don’t have to worry about their oral health. Routine dental care is what helps prevent urgent and emergency dental care. Avoiding routine dental care may result in the deterioration of oral health, which can be costly.

Fortunately, Dr. Arend can detect signs of dental irregularity before symptoms present. The risk of developing dental problems, according to ER doctor Rob Davidson, as quoted on MSNBC, is “greater than the risk of contracting Covid-19 from a dental visit.”

We’ve Implemented New Safety Measures

An ADA survey established that as of June 15th, 2020, approximately 34% of dentists nationwide had returned to full practice, and 63% were operating at a lower patient capacity. At East Portland Dentistry, we are scheduling patients intermittently so as to lower the volume of patients in our waiting area. By staggering appointment times, we plan to provide ample room for social distancing and sufficient time for our staff to perform additional cleaning of all surfaces and points of contact.

Patient care has always been the backbone of East Portland Dentistry, and during these trying times our commitment to patients’ oral health and overall health is stronger than ever. When you visit us at East Portland Dentistry, you can open wide and say ah during your next dental exam knowing that we screen all staff daily for Covid-19. We’ve also implemented policies that require we take all patients’ temperatures with a screening thermometer before granting entry to our clinical areas. We thoroughly question all patients for symptoms of and exposure to Covid-19 prior to scheduling appointments. Through rigorous screening and daily testing, we will create a safer, healthier environment for our staff and patients.

We are all in this new world together, and have to make do without many of the joys we once took for granted. But we don’t have to do without dental care and the joy of a clean, healthy smile. At East Portland Dentistry, Dr. Joy Arend and her team invite new and returning patients to keep their mouths healthy knowing that we will continue to do the utmost to keep patients safe in their pursuit of quality oral health.

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