Dental Visits During the Covid-19 Crisis
As most of us are aware, we are in the middle of a worldwide viral epidemic. At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, we are following recommended guidelines for dental clinics. We also need to address a few points with you so that any potential exposure to the virus can be minimized. First and foremost, if you have scheduled a regular dental visit, please call and reschedule your appointment. At this time, we are only treating dental emergencies. This is for your protection, our protection, and the protection of our other patients.
Lifetime Family Dental is concerned about your overall health, not just your oral health. However, it’s also important to understand that with this type of viral infection, the face, and particularly the mouth and nose, is the prime avenue of entry. Since we work with your mouth, we want to help you protect yourself, your family, and our community as much as possible. Here are some things to consider when it comes to the coronavirus and dental appointments:
How does the virus spread?
It is helpful to understand how this virus is spread. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the virus is transmitted through airborne, droplet, or contact transmission (e.g., sneezing, coughing, and contact with skin). The most common transmission is from a hand to a nose or mouth. To protect against contamination, it is recommended that you wash your hands with soap and water frequently throughout the day for 20 seconds at a time. This is especially important if you have been in public. In fact, if you can avoid crowded public spaces, you reduce your risk of exposure.
Where is it found?
The virus can remain active on surfaces such as countertops, sinks, doorknobs, cell phones, and the like for up to three days. If you are in a public space like a store or office, you may possibly touch contaminated surfaces. Carrying a hand sanitizer with you is a smart idea. Use it when soap and water are not readily available. If you are in the presence of someone with the virus, you should maintain a distance of at least 6-12 feet.
Who is vulnerable?
The most vulnerable people are those with chronic respiratory illnesses, those with compromised immune systems, and the elderly who may be in poor health or have chronic underlying health issues. Children, teens and young adults in good health are least likely to suffer severe symptoms, however these groups can still pass the virus on to more vulnerable groups. The symptoms can be very mild or very severe, can feel like a common cold or can feel like the flu. Fortunately, most people will recover in ten to fourteen days.
When will the epidemic end?
We have great confidence in our healthcare system, and we hope that in a few months time, the worst will be behind us. We appreciate each of our patients and we hope that none of you experience this virus. If you need emergency dental care, by all means, call us! We can discuss all available options to meet your needs.
In the meantime, Lifetime Family Dental wants you to know that even though there is a lot of uncertainty right now, the recovery and survival rates are very high. Please be sensible and follow the guidelines for prevention. If you feel the symptoms or know you have been exposed, please contact your doctor. Above all, don’t panic! We will get through this!
Images used under creative commons license (Commerical Use) 03/20/20 Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst