Tags: Coronavirus | Health Topics | pandemic | dentist | social distancing | safety | hygiene

Should You Go to the Dentist During the Pandemic?

a patient sits during a dental exam
(Rui Vieira/AP)

By    |   Friday, 27 March 2020 02:31 PM

Good dental hygiene is crucial to good health, but the COVID-19 pandemic raises concerns about the wisdom of visiting the dentist?

If it is not an emergency procedure, it is best to reschedule, the Houston Chronicle reports. However, for emergency cases, that’s not always an option, and ignoring dental pain can be deadly.

The Texas Association of Orthodontists issued a press release outlining recommended procedures to contain and prevent the spread of the virus.

"Surfaces and equipment are routinely sanitized and instruments sterilized between patient visits," it stated. "All staff who are responsible for treatment will wear protective gear such as gloves, face masks, eye covers, or disposable gowns as needed."

The American Dental Association added other precautions dentists should take before treating a patient:

  • Screening patients for travel and signs of symptoms.
  • Taking temperature readings before performing dental procedures.
  • Having patients rinse with a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution before each appointment.

Dr. Guy Leavitt, DDS, of Fort Collins Dental Arts says if you are showing any symptoms of infection, do not put others at risk.

"Because your local dentist works primarily with your mouth, they are at extra risk for exposure. Call and reschedule for a time when you know you will no longer be contagious," he advises.

But, according to Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, emergencies should not be ignored as they could be life threatening.

"Toothaches and dental emergencies always seem to happen at the most inconvenient time, and they won't stop because of a viral outbreak," Dr. Ariana Ebrahimian said.

"Ignoring a dental emergency is not advised, especially if you are in pain. Dental pain could indicate an infection that could easily spread to your brain or heart and become life threatening. For dental emergencies that aren't painful such as a minor chipped tooth or loose crown call your dentist for advice."

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Good dental hygiene is crucial to good health, but the COVID-19 pandemic raises concerns about the wisdom of visiting the dentist?
pandemic, dentist, social distancing, safety, hygiene
Friday, 27 March 2020 02:31 PM
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