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How COVID-19 Has Changed the Way Dentistry is Performed

August 6, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drennanfamily @ 5:19 pm
a dental staff member wearing personal protective equipment and performing a regular checkup and cleaning on a patient

In the past, you were likely used to walking into the dentist’s office and being greeted by the happy, smiling faces of the front desk team. Seeing your dental team members wearing face masks and gloves were nothing “out of the norm,” but now that COVID-19 remains a threat to the global population, many changes are now occurring to better protect patients and staff. Read on to find out what a safe dentist in Ft. Worth is doing to ensure their office remains clean and virus-free on a daily basis.

Preparing for Your Upcoming Visit

Is it safe to return to the dentist’s office? What steps are being taken to maintain the highest level of cleanliness? How is it possible to practice social distancing when preparing for a visit? None of these questions are new to your dental team. Every day, they are busy answering numerous inquiries of anxious and uncertain patients like yourself. It’s normal to be concerned about receiving regular dental care during this time but fortunately, your dentist in Ft. Worth is going above and beyond to make sure every individual who arrives for an appointment remains safe and healthy during their visit.

Some of the ways this is being accomplished include:

Identifying a Safety Champion

Although a term commonly used in construction, it is now being implemented in dental offices throughout the country. This includes identifying a different person each day to ensure everyone is following the appropriate guidelines and protocols. This can include everything from wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and practicing social distancing to following manufacturer guidelines when it comes to cleaning instruments and ensuring they are properly sanitized and disinfected.

Pre-Screening Patients

When scheduling an appointment, staff members will use a questionnaire to perform a pre-screen to ensure you are not sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. The same questions will be asked on the day of your appointment, and you will also have your temperature taken with a touchless thermometer.

Scheduling Fewer Patients

To minimize the number of people in the dentist’s office at one time, you can expect to see fewer individuals when you arrive. Not only will appointments be spaced out accordingly, but your dentist will also expand the length of your visit to ensure all questions are thoroughly answered, any additional dental work can be performed, and proper cleaning occurs before the next patient arrives.

You will also notice when you arrive for your visit, you will be asked to remain in your vehicle until it is time to enter the office. This cuts down on the amount of time you spend waiting in the lobby.

Patients and Staff Wearing Personal Protective Equipment

Not only will you discover that face masks are mandatory when entering your dentist’s office, but your dental team will also be wearing additional PPE to better protect themselves. An article in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram further explained these changes. Interviewing a dental hygienist with Drennan Family Dentistry, she stated she wears two masks, two lab coats, a full-face shield, and protective eyewear, but “she also switches out one of the masks and one of the lab coats each time.”

As more offices reopen, dental care workers are encouraging patients to feel confident in their return. With these additional safety protocols in place, you can trust that your oral and overall health is in good hands.

About the Author
Dr. Terry Drennan is a Fort Worth dentist who has been helping individuals achieve healthier smiles for more than 40 years. Attending the University of Texas Dental School at San Antonio Health Science Center, he completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1979 and began his career and developed a family practice. Like many dental professionals, he and his team are making necessary changes to ensure the health and safety of all patients amid the COVID-19 crisis. If you are preparing for an upcoming visit and want to know what protocols are being put into place, make sure to visit our website or call (817) 732-5522.

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