For several weeks in early 2020, dentists in New York City and elsewhere across the globe were required to stop providing non-urgent care in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. As we resume our “new normal,” many patients are asking—is it still too early to visit the dentist?
Rest assured that the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now allowing patients to return to the dentist for routine cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, and other elective services—with a few changes in place. Here’s what you should know before visiting the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Is My Dentist’s Office Safe?
Germs are everywhere, but healthcare facilities, including dentist’s offices, have always been among the cleanest places you could go. Many safety guidelines have been the norm for years, including regularly washing your hands, sterilizing tools, and discarding certain gear and needles after a single use.
In light of the pandemic, many dentists, including Park 56 Dental in NYC, are doing even more. Here are some of the steps we’re taking to ensure patient safety and comfort:
- Conducting pre-visit health screenings and contactless temperature checks for all visitors and staff
- Making masks and hand sanitizer available upon request
- Staggering check-ins to minimize wait times and help maintain social distancing
- Holding virtual appointments to answer questions or conduct follow-ups
How “Essential” are Dentist Visits?
The fact that dentist offices were shut down for everything but emergency procedures could make some people think that routine teeth cleanings aren’t that important. However, the condition of your teeth and gums can greatly impact your overall health. In fact, putting off routine cleanings could compound dental problems and other health issues in the months and years to come.
The practical precautions that dentist offices are currently taking are effective at reducing the risk of coronavirus transmission while allowing you to care for your teeth and gums. Skipping your appointments any longer than necessary is simply not worth the risk to your oral health.
What to Consider Before Going to the Dentist
Social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 14 days. In short, cancel your dentist appointment if you’re not feeling well. You’ll be sent home if you come in with a cough, fever, or shortness of breath. You should also stay home if you think you have been around anyone who has the coronavirus, whether or not they have tested positive.
Park 56 Dental in NYC is open for business! Anything that can be done remotely, such as payments or health questionnaires, will be handled over the phone or via email. We are taking COVID-19 restrictions seriously and place your safety above all else. Please call us at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online to ask questions about our coronavirus precautions or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon.