How to Follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour at Dental Clinics

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging period for health professionals. Despite the risk, dental practitioners across the country are providing the required care to people suffering from dental problems.

With the easing of restrictions, it has become easier for dentists in Hope Island to care for their patients. Thus, if you need an examination or are suffering because of an oral problem, you should not avoid taking an appointment due to the current circumstances.

All the dental clinics are following COVID-19 precautions protocol to maintain high levels of sanitisation and safety. Also, the patients are required to adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour at the clinics to avoid transmission. Here is the list of the safety measures that must be followed at all times.

1. When to Book an Appointment

If you are well and have a low risk of contracting the coronavirus, you can go ahead and book your dental appointment. However, if you have come in contact with someone who recently tested positive or have travelled to another state or a hotspot in the last two weeks, then you must wait for at least 14 days to book the appointment.

You must also refrain from booking an appointment if you have a cold or flu-like symptoms or any other symptoms similar to COVID-19. It is recommended to stay home if you have not been feeling well to stop the spread. In addition, if it is a regular check-up and is not urgent, you must postpone it to avoid going out in the pandemic.

2. Opt For Telephonic Consultation

Staying home does not mean that you cannot get your dental ailment treated. If you are unable to visit the dental clinic because of any reason, you can book a telephonic consultation with the dentist.

They will examine the condition on a video call and speak to you at length to diagnose the problem and send prescriptions online for antibiotics and analgesics if you are in pain or have an infection. They may also ask you to visit a hospital with provisions for COVID-19 safety to get treated urgently if required.

3. Maintain Optimum Oral Hygiene

If your dental appointment has been postponed due to the restrictions, make sure that you take good care of your teeth until you are able to visit the dentist again.

Brush your teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. Drink tap water and avoid sticky and hard foods that can affect your teeth or lead to cavities.

 4. Rules on Arrival

The staff at the clinic will adhere to the safety guidelines and conduct mandatory checks before you proceed to the waiting area. They will check your temperature, get your hands sanitised and ask a few questions. You must cooperate to ensure the safety of everyone.

You must wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds in the washing sink before the examination. Your dentist will provide you with a mouthwash to rinse your mouth for 20-30 seconds before beginning the procedure.

 5. Precautions while Waiting

Adult patients visiting the dental clinic should come alone for the appointment or bring only one attendant as it restricts overcrowding of the space. Also, they need to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols at all times.

The patients must wait at the marked spaces in the waiting area to maintain a safe distance from other patients and keep their surgical masks on until they reach the dentist’s cabin.

 6. Sitting in Dental Chair

You will be provided with a disposable gown, gloves, head caps, and shoe covers to cover yourself, and the dentist will be wearing a PPE kit to avoid any transmissions. The chair and the touchable surfaces will be sanitised by the staff with disinfectants to maintain maximum safety.

They will separate all disposals in a sealed bag after the treatment and put them with the waste. Also, all dental clinics have been advised to reduce aerosol-generating techniques and use high-level evacuation to avoid aerosolising of saliva.

7. Patients Suffering from COVID-19

Patients who are suffering from COVID-19 and need dental treatment have to be treated at a hospital or get a telephonic consultation during their home isolation.

At the hospital, confirmed patients will be taken to the negative pressure room and the staff present in the area will be wearing P2/N95 respirators to avoid transmission. The respirators are fit-tested and checked before use.

The positive cases are treated as an in-patient or at a clinic with hospital settings by practitioners who are trained and credentialled to offer the treatment.

8. Follow the Restrictions

Before going ahead with the appointment, you need to be aware of the Level 1 restrictions in Queensland. According to the guidelines, the practitioners have been asked to postpone some dental appointments to control the pandemic.

You must contact your dental clinic to know about the current status of restrictions and types of treatments available at the clinic. Some of the treatments that are being offered under Level 1 restrictions include emergency services, oral surgery, dentures, and orthodontic care.

Conclusion

Although COVID-19 has made us stay put, it is necessary to understand the gravity of the situation and stop the contagion with COVID appropriate behaviour. Speak to your dentist in Hope Island to understand how you can get the required treatment without risking exposure.