The pandemic sweeping the globe has changed the way we do almost anything in our lives, and visiting your dental office is no different. Most states have started their phased reopening plans, and dentists are beginning to accept patients for regular, non-emergency visits.
If you missed a dental appointment or are due for a cleaning, you may be wondering if going to the dentist is a good idea. This is a reasonable concern given the fact that dental procedures involve your mouth being exposed for long periods, and lots of dental procedures produce aerosol particles that may carry viruses.
Read on to discover what you should know before making your dental appointment in the time of COVID-19, and how EnviroKlenz can make a difference on your next visit.
Is it safe to go to the dentist?
The answer is a resounding, “YES!” Dental practices are notoriously hygienic because of the nature of the work. The last thing your dentist wants is to make you or their staff sick!
Some dentists, for example, are having patients wait in the parking lot rather than sitting in the waiting room. Patients are then brought directly into a room and are asked to use hand sanitizer before sitting down or touching the chair.
Everything in the room is covered in disposable coverings that are changed between patients. The hygienists and dentists are wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent exposure to themselves, thus limiting the potential for exposure to other patients. Most importantly, dental professionals are utilizing portable HEPA air purifiers with UV-C lights to mitigate transmission through airborne particles in a dental setting.
Dentists have guidelines to follow:
The American Dental Association (ADA) has consistently offered guidelines based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. Each state has implemented different regulations throughout the early stages of the pandemic, but most have reopened for elective procedures at this time.
As mentioned, the guidelines vary by state, but here is an example of one state (Illinois) and how they are handling regulating dental offices during the coronavirus pandemic:
- The Illinois Department of Health (DPH) recommended a return to routine oral care on May 11, 2020.
- Use techniques to reduce aerosolization (suction techniques)
- Use an appropriate HEPA filter
- Use appropriate UV systems
Read more about why you should invest in a HEPA UV Air Purifier here.
How dentists are protecting patients and staff
It has been a standard for a long time that dental workers wear PPE like gloves, masks, and protective eyewear in the presence of patients. This protects themselves and patients by preventing transmission from patient to dentist to another patient.
The use of full PPE, including coverings for clothing, is one example of how a “normal” standard is taken to the next level. However, dental professionals in multiple states have reported a lack of PPE, and the need for technologies such as HEPA air purifiers with UV lights has been rising.
Many offices are utilizing HEPA filters enhanced with UV-C lights to kill airborne organisms to supplement their existing cleaning practices between patients. Watch this video to understand how dentists are implementing this new technology:
What to expect at my dental appointment?
The extra precautions and changes to routine can cause anxiety in patients who already prefer to avoid the dentist. When your dentist decides to reopen, here are some things you can expect:
Before your visit: You might receive a phone call asking some questions about your current health.
Check-in process: You may be asked the same health questions again and may get to skip the usual time in the waiting room. Many dentists have altered their appointment templates to minimize wait times.
During your appointment: you may notice some differences around the room. It may have fewer items strewn about and will likely be very sparse to limit surfaces. Disposable coverings may be on keyboards, trays, and other frequently touched surfaces. Look for portable HEPA air purifiers, like the EnviroKlenz UV Air System. Dental offices that choose EnviroKlenz, also get a certificate of use to display their commitment to keeping staff and patients safe.
After: The staff will practice proper hygiene and thoroughly clean the room ahead of the next patient. Staff will run the EnviroKlenz Air purifier for about 18 minutes, generating 18 air exchanges and minimizing wait time between patients
The EnviroKlenz UV Unit captures particles and VOCs from the air without releasing anything back into the environment!
Dentists are working hard to return to a sense of normal scheduling while taking steps to keep patients and staff safe. If you have more questions about safety, give your dentist a call, ask how they are protecting their practice, and if they utilize the EnviroKlenz UV System.
EnviroKlenz® Medical Disclaimer:
“Any information that is provided on this website is not for the use by any commercial or personal entity without expressed written consent of the blog author. The material and statements illustrated within this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Nor does the author in any way guarantee or validate the validity, totality, or efficacy of any claims and will therefore not be held responsible for the content of any claims. Always consult your medical physician for any specific medical advice or recommendations.”
Mobile UV Air System
✓ Patented earth mineral technology works to attack VOCs and break them down on a compound level
✓ No chemicals or masking agents
✓ Will not release any chemicals back into your environment
✓ UVC lamps are continuously shining on the collected organisms with high efficiency of kill and destruction