Monday: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Today's Hours - Monday: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Posted on August 27, 2020
As you may have heard, the World Health Organization released an advisory earlier this month that implied non-emergency dental procedures should be delayed until the COVID pandemic is under better control and new case numbers have dropped. The American Dental Association released a response shortly thereafter that highlights their strong disagreement with the statement. The WHO then released a second statement to clarify their position, stating that their advisory was only intended to apply for areas of especially high infection rates and no preventative measures in place.
We would like to take this opportunity to review our protocols for safety during this unprecedented time, and emphasize the importance of routine dental health checks.
As we detailed in previous blog posts, our team here at Lake Baldwin Dental maintains the highest standards for safety at all times. We have changed our check-in procedures to help keep appropriate distances between patients. With new equipment including air scrubbers in the air conditioning system, we are keeping respiratory hygiene at its cleanest. We have also changed the way we practice to eliminate as many aerosols as possible. For example, your hygienist may use only hand instruments instead of the Cavitron, and we will use extra air cleaning devices such as high volume evacuators to remove any aerosols we do have to produce.
Your dental clinician will be wearing extra protective gear during your visit. You may notice we’re wearing multiple masks, a full-face shield, goggles, and may even have our hair covered. By keeping our own exposure to a minimum, we also protect our patients. We want to ensure that we do not become carriers for COVID. But we’ve all heard about people who carry the virus without symptoms, who may not even be aware they have it. Even if one of us were exposed, there is no way a microbe is getting through all those layers to expose our patients.
We are also requiring a hydrogen peroxide pre-rinse before any procedure. We tried to make it a little more palatable with some flavoring, but it’s gross. We’re sorry. But we very much appreciate our patients suffering through that, as it decreases any potential viral load in the oral environment for the duration of your visit to our office. This keeps us safe, and keeps other patients safe, too.
At the end of the day, the fact is that “there have been no clusters of COVID outbreaks directly traced to dental offices,” as reported by Good Morning America earlier this month. As the president of the California Dental Association, Dr. Richard Nagy, points out, dental offices are experts in preparing our offices for disease control. This is what we do. And it is working.
Admittedly, when we came back to work, some dental professionals were worried. We were the highest risk group of any profession. We assumed many dentists, hygienists, and assistants would get sick. But this has not happened. All our measures are working. Patients are not catching COVID at the dentist, and clinicians are not catching it from patients.
Beyond any misunderstanding about the WHO statement, what it comes down to is that routine dental health checks are absolutely essential. We identify oral cancer and precancerous lesions frequently. These are tissues your general physician and dermatologist don’t typically see. And those lesions can move fast. Timely treatment is vital for cancer and HPV cases.
Additionally, we diagnose and treat abscesses, decay, and infections that frequently go unnoticed and without symptoms until they are very far advanced. Untreated, many dental problems land people in the hospital or worse. By keeping up with regular checks, we can stay ahead of these problems and treat them early, keeping intervention as conservative as possible and keeping you healthy.
If you have already been diagnosed with decay or a cracked tooth, anything needing treatment, we absolutely do not recommend waiting. The earlier we treat a cavity, the less tooth structure we have to remove and the better the prognosis. This goes for all oral health concerns. As we discussed previously, waiting on treatment is not the best plan.
We understand these are uncertain times and we all wonder what risks are reasonable. We all want to keep ourselves and our families safe. However, your regular dental visits are essential and should be treated accordingly. The dental office is a safe environment. The data has proven that for several months, even as Florida suffered through huge spikes in COVID cases. We are here to keep you healthy, Orlando!
950 Lake Baldwin Lane
Orlando, FL 32814
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