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Dental Health And Safety During A Pandemic

Dental Health and Safety During a Pandemic

When to Cancel or Keep Your Dental Appointment

When it seems like the whole world (SXSW! Disneyland! NCAA!) is closing down to protect against a pandemic like the coronavirus (COVID-19), everything comes into question.

Should you, for example, keep that dental appointment, or should you cancel? If you’re in a lot of dental pain, what do you do?

“It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fear and the craziness of it all, but at the end of the day, your dental health problems will still be there,” says Austin Dentist Samantha Hollinger, DMD. “If you are suffering, or have an emergency, delaying getting treatment might not be an option. We’re here for you, taking every precaution to make sure you’re safe.”

Dentists Are Clean Freaks

All reputable dental practices like TRU Dentistry Austin already follow OSHA standards for cleaning and sanitizing everything with  EPA-approved disinfectants specially designed for use in a healthcare setting to kill viruses, bacteria, and other blood-borne pathogens. The entire dental care team wears protective gear, including gloves, surgical masks, and goggles for eye protection to minimize the risk of transmitting germs from one patient to another.

These standards are in practice every day, regardless of whether there’s a known outbreak of an infectious disease.

“You probably never think about things like hepatitis, herpes, or HIV when you go to the dentist,” notes Dr. Hollinger. “And that’s good. You don’t worry about that because you know that we go to serious lengths to protect ourselves and you from cross-contamination. The same can be said of the coronavirus. We know that it can be disinfected, and we know how to disinfect it.”

Though TRU’s normal standard of care is thorough enough to protect patients from all sorts of pathogens, TRU understands that anxiety is running higher during this pandemic. “We’re careful not to overbook, so there aren’t as many people in the waiting room. We ask patients to come alone, if possible, and supply masks and gloves to anyone who has a cough or other worrisome symptoms,” says Hollinger. “Your health and safety is our number one priority.”

Embrace Social Distancing, Good Hygiene

To keep yourself, your family, friends, and community healthy, TRU reminds everyone to embrace good personal hygiene and social distancing habits.

  • Aside from dental and other important appointments, stay home or at least avoid crowds even if you feel good. Try to keep at least six feet of distance between you and others.
  • Wash your hands. A lot. For a long time (at least 20 seconds). Any soap will do.
  • Disinfect your phone and other items you handle frequently, like car keys, remote controls, electronics, etc.
  • Keep your hands away from your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes! If you’re an allergy sufferer, cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze, or better yet use a tissue or disposable towel and throw it away.
  • Wear a mask and gloves if you’re symptomatic and self-isolate.

Get Medical Attention Immediately

  • If you have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, experience confusion, or have bluish lips or face.
    • According to the CDC, older folks and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

TRU Dentistry Austin welcomes emergency walk-ins as well as sees patients after-hours so no one has to endure pain while waiting for an appointment or the office to open. Contact us or call 737-203-8538 at any time of day.

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