As Covid-19 continues to upend our lives, it has far-reaching effects on our health in surprising ways. Some people are skipping their regular dental visits because they are afraid of exposing themselves to the virus. Dentists, too, are operating under restrictions and with reduced hours, so it’s harder to get the appointment time you need. A survey conducted in June 2020 by the American Dental Association (ADA) showed only 0.9% of dentists had confirmed or probable cases of the coronavirus. This shows that visiting the dentist is not a high-risk activity and that the overwhelming majority of dental offices are using enhanced infection control processes.
Why Dental Consultations Are Essential
The findings of this study are good news for Americans, because maintaining good oral care is essential to the overall health of dental patients. Without regular checkups, cleanings and screenings, we’re likely to see a rapid increase in conditions like:
- Dental cavities
- Cracked, chipped, or broken tooth surfaces
- Loose teeth
- Gum disease
- Oral infections
The consequences of delaying getting dental care for any of these issues can be serious, leading to the loss of natural teeth, increased need for surgical interventions, and potentially even oral cancer. This makes it vital for dentists to continue doing all that they can to provide the necessary care to their patients while limiting the risk of spreading Covid-19.
Types of Dental Care You Shouldn’t Delay
Some forms of dental care are more urgent than others. If you need immediate attention for a tooth that has been knocked out in an accident, for example, your best (and safest!) bet is to go to an endodontist who offers emergency care. Don’t go to a hospital ER that could already be overwhelmed with patients, or may not even have an oral surgeon on staff.
The same principle applies to standard dental treatments like fillings, crowns, and bridges, as well as more complex procedures like root canal therapy. Postponing any of these procedures can lead to pain and infection, loosening of your teeth, and long-term damage to your bite. Receding, swollen or bleeding gums also require critical attention. Some of these conditions have been linked to serious diseases and early treatment can help avoid complications such as dementia or heart disease later in life.
How Dentists Are Combatting Covid-19
Dentists recognize the potential for the spread of coronavirus, and the survey shows 99.7% have taken this issue seriously. Some ways practices are working to combat this risk and create a safe environment for both patients and staff include:
- Cleaning and disinfecting treatment rooms and all surfaces both before and after each patient.
- Using disposable, protective covers on equipment to reduce exposure.
- Regular cleaning and sanitization of entrances, lobbies, and exits throughout the day.
- Providing personal protective equipment for staff to wear at all times
- Asking screening questions at the time you make your appointment
- Taking patients directly to the treatment room to avoid contact with others while waiting
- Requiring all patients to wear a face mask on arrival, until they are ready for treatment.
- Taking the temperature of each patient at check-in.
As a result of these measures, it’s no coincidence that dentists have a much lower rate of coronavirus infection than many other healthcare professions.
The Bottom Line
Getting oral care doesn’t have to be a high-risk activity. Offices like Professional Endodontics have taken all the necessary steps to make sure we offer an ultra-clean and sanitized environment. This enables us to provide the care our patients need, and to support other dentists by taking on their complex endodontic cases. We recognize the importance of maintaining this vigilance and avoiding Covid-19 fatigue, and the need to ensure patients can go on accessing dental care in spite of the pandemic.
Don’t delay your routine or urgent dental treatment. Contact Professional Endodontics today to schedule an appointment in our safe, clean, and Covid-19-free environment.
About Professional Endodontics
Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes in treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Hour Detroit Magazine’s Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.
Professional Endodontics offers state-of-the-art facilities in Clarkston, Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and Southfield. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental delivery systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.
6803 Dixie Highway
Clarkston, MI 48346
29201 Telegraph Road
Southfield, MI 48034
Henry Ford Hospital Medical Pavilion
16151 19 Mile Rd, Suite 101
Clinton Township, MI 48038
St. Clair Shores
St. Clair Professional Plaza
23829 Little Mack, Suite 300
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080