The Importance of Oral Health During The Pandemic
Changing restrictions regarding dental practices reflect the importance of oral health to your overall health.
At DGY Dentistry Ann Arbor, we are proud to provide the highest quality personal protection equipment (PPE), to our accomplished and seasoned staff, who are well-informed on guidelines from the Occupational Saftey and Health Administration (OSHA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and American Dental Association (ADA) as well as the health departments protocols.
Our practice has invested over $50,000 in the finest protective measures available, including HEPA filtration, external suction units, and hypochlorous fogging machines as a commitment to your safety as well as our staff, with no additional charge to our patients.
Our hope is that the knowledge of all the safety precautions taken at DGY Dentistry will give patients the confidence to continue their regular teeth cleanings and restorative procedures. We have seen patients who have delayed these things experience situations of emergency dentistry that most likely could have been avoided — or at the very least had less complications — with proper and timely intervention, including tooth loss, untreated gum issues (periodontal disease), root canals, and resorption. In these uncertain times, the last thing you want to have is a costly dental emergency. We strongly advocate for regular visits that have been set by you and your provider to mitigate these costly emergencies.
Although any interaction carries some risk, the data around transmission in dental offices is promising:
- NPR reported that “both the World Health Organization and the CDC say there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 transmitted in a dental office so far.”
- A study by the ADA Science & Research Institute and Health Policy Institute found that the COVID-19 rate among dentists is less than 1 percent.
If you’re concerned about COVID-19, the best thing you can do is reach out to your dentist and ask about the safety protocols they’ve put in place to reduce the risk of transmission. The CDC has released guidance for dental settings you can reference to understand what type of precautions should be taken.
Preventative care at home
Another aspect of maintaining your oral health during the pandemic is making sure you practice good preventative dentistry habits at home.
The ADA recommends practicing these simple steps to protect your oral health:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Clean between your teeth daily
- Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks
- See your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease
Be aware that stress can lead to teeth grinding and clenching; according to CBS News, dentists across the country have seen “a more than 50% increase in teeth grinding and clenching in their patients.” Contact your dentist if you start experiencing tooth pain.
When should you visit the dentist?
Preventative dental services include regular teeth cleanings and complete examinations. To maintain optimal oral health, the ADA recommends that the frequency of consumer’s regular dental visits “be tailored by their dentists to accommodate for their current oral health status and health history.”
Problems like missing teeth, severe toothache, chipped teeth, or a lost crown or filling may fall under emergency dental care — contact your dentist immediately if you experience any of these issues.
DGY Dentistry COVID 19 safety protocols
Patients in Washtenaw County and the larger Southeast Michigan area who are worried about COVID-19 transmission will find that our dental practice is committed to safety. At DGY Dentistry Ann Arbor, we’ve implemented a number of COVID-19 safety protocols.
- We request that patients pre-register via text message or email link to save time upon arrival.
- Patients are asked to attend their appointments alone and call the office upon arrival. We will review your health questionnaire and take your temperature prior to entry.
- Both DGY Dentistry employees and patients will be wearing masks as you’re escorted to the operatory where your dental work will be completed. We ask that you wash your hands prior to and after your appointment.
- As always, operatories will be thoroughly disinfected between patients.
- High touch areas such as door handles will be disinfected throughout the day.
- For certain procedures we will request that you have COVID testing done. (This does not apply to cleanings or preventative services.) We have arranged a drive up COVID testing site at Airport Rd near Costco, signage it out, with results available in 48 hours.
- For the safety of our patients and staff, appointments may be cancelled based on factors such as:
- Development of symptoms
- Exposure to a person with coronavirus
- A positive screening test
- Our own staffing resources