The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a halt to many of the world’s services. Throughout the globe, the spotlight has been directed at the health sector. While healthcare workers have been overstrained with the maintenance and care of the pandemic, people have been living in fear of getting infected. Most people have opted to not risk a doctor’s visit for manageable illnesses and discomfort. One such thing many people are willing to compromise on is their dental check-ups. With precautionary measures emphasizing the need for masks to reduce the risk of exposure, it comes as no surprise that people have become even more apprehensive with the prospect of visiting a dentist. While this fear is understandable, the nature of most dental problems is such that quick fixes are better in the long run. Going without treatment will only serve to escalate the problem in most cases. And when there is a need for emergency care, dental visits cannot be put off. In such circumstances, one reasonable solution is for dental centers to set up measures to carry out normal functions in such a way that it eliminates the chance for the disease to spread.
Some safety measures that can be adopted by dental centers include:
1. Primary consultation can be made to be online, from which the dentist may discern whether an in-person consultation would be necessary.
2. For cases that are not pressing, dentists could recommend medications and other changes that would help to keep the issue under control for a later date.
3. Waiting areas should have adequate amounts of informative bulletins that notify people about risk behavior which would aid in the spread of the disease. Information should be readily available for the patients to understand how to get through the dental appointment while following proper procedures.
4. Patients should be instructed to wear face masks while coming in for the consultation.
5. Extra masks should be made available at the registration desk to be provided if the need arises.
6. Proper bins should be made available to dispose of paper towels and other such waste.
7. Dental clinics should make hand sanitization appliances available. People who come in for a consultation should be made to sanitize their hands upon entry.
8. Magazines, newspapers, toys, remotes, and other such frequently touched objects should be removed from waiting rooms.
9. The chairs in the waiting room should be placed a metre apart so that people can maintain social distancing.
10. Patients should be screened on entry. The temperature of the patients should be noted for any possible symptoms.
11. Patients should be instructed to bring the minimum requisite of companions to accompany them to the dental clinic.
12. Placing physical barriers like glass shields should be placed in front of registration and payment areas to limit exposure.
13. Cashless and contactless payment should be encouraged as much as possible.
14. Contact details of patients should be collected at registration. Patients should be directed to inform the clinic if, after the consultation, they develop COVID.
15. The rooms should be properly ventilated. Allow fresh air to enter by opening windows, and use exhaust blowers to get rid of the air in the room.
With proper caution, dental visits can go without the risk of getting infected with COVID-19. Following the guidelines set can go a long way to making your visit to the dentist’s safe. Proper cautionary measures by the dental clinic can aid in this. At our dental centre at Naseem al Rabeeh, we are dedicated to providing you with the care that is also safe. Head over and get your consultation without fear of COVID.
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