As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering whether it is safe to visit our office for your regular dental checkup and cleaning. While dental treatments inherently possess certain risks of coronavirus transmission, the CDC has stated that currently, there haven’t been any COVID-19 clusters linked to dental offices. This is largely due to the safety measures dentists have been taking to ensure sanitary conditions.
Why Are Precautions Needed at the Dentist’s Office?
According to the CDC, certain common dental procedures utilize ultrasonic instruments which create a spray of saliva, water and other debris that can potentially aerosolize the coronavirus. Once the virus becomes aerosolized, the virus droplets are able to linger in the air for longer periods of time.
To combat this risk, the CDC has emphasized the importance of maintaining effective ventilation systems. In addition, the CDC has recommended waiting 15 minutes after each patient leaves before sanitizing the surfaces of the treatment area. This will give the aerosolized droplets more time to fall from the air, ensuring they are disinfected by standard dental protocols.
Precautions Being Taken Prior to Your Visit
To maintain safe, sanitary conditions for all patients and staff, Dr. Greenhalgh has implemented the following protocol prior to the start of your visit:
- When you arrive at our office, you will be screened to determine whether you’ve experienced any COVID-19 symptoms or been in contact with anyone who has tested positive within the last two weeks.
- Your temperature will be taken to ensure you don’t have a fever.
- Masks must be worn by staff and patients at all times when you are in our office, except while you’re receiving your dental treatment.
- Chairs in our waiting room will be spaced more than six feet apart to ensure proper social distancing.
- Appointments are staggered to prevent large numbers of patients in the waiting room.
What to Expect During Your Visit
Dr. Greenhalgh has taken the following precautions to reduce the risk of aerosolizing the virus and ensure conditions remain sanitary:
- Tools such as ultrasonic drills, polishing tools and air/water syringes that can potentially aerosolize the virus will be avoided whenever possible.
- Hand tools will be used, when appropriate, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
- When ultrasonic tools are required, a hygienist will assist with the procedure in order to employ a high-evacuation suction device that will draw away 90-95% of the water spray generated by your treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
It’s important that you don’t neglect important dental treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visiting our office for regular cleanings is the most effective way to maintain optimal levels of oral health. Dr. Greenhalgh is committed to maintaining safe and sanitary conditions at our office in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Please contact Dr. Scott Greenhalgh using the form on this page or call 303-988-9060 today to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Lakewood, Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado.