Is it Ok to See the Dentist? Here’s What to Expect in the Age of COVID-19

As businesses continue to reopen among cautions about the coronavirus (COVID-19), you’re likely wondering if it’s safe to venture out and do your normal activities.

Whether you’ve skipped your last cleaning due to concerns about the virus or haven’t been to the dentist in a while, taking care of your smile is still just as important as it was before the epidemic, if not more important, as we’ve seen how oral bacteria can potentially impact the immune system.

At Saunders DDS, our doctors and staff have always been dedicated to keeping our patients safe. Your health and safety are our priorities, and we’re continuing to serve our patients with both emergency and non-emergency appointments with enhanced protective measures.

Not only is personal protective equipment (PPE) an essential part of our daily procedures, but regularly disinfecting all surfaces and equipment has always been a part of our regimen, and even more so now.

Our practice follows The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for dental practices reopening during COVID-19. So is it ok to come in for your regular appointment? Here’s what you need to know.

For Routine Dental Care

If you don’t have a history of oral health problems and are not having any symptoms, you may be ok to skip your appointment if you have concerns about COVID-19. However, for otherwise healthy individuals, we don’t recommend skipping your appointment if you’re already overdue for an exam and a cleaning.

Putting off your regular dental visits can lead to costly problems later. Many early stages of oral health conditions, such as cavities and gum disease, don’t have any noticeable symptoms. Without getting a professional exam with your Asheville dentist, it’s difficult to know if you have any problems that could be compromising your oral health in the long run.

Whether or not you choose to come in for your regular dental care all depends on your unique smile. If you have a history of dental problems, getting an exam and a cleaning can be crucial to preventing issues. If you’re overdue for an exam but have concerns about COVID, rest assured that our team is doing everything in their power to keep our office a safe and healthy environment for your appointment.

For Emergency Appointments

Emergencies with your smile should never be put off. Whether you have a knocked-out tooth or a painful toothache, dental emergencies have the potential to be life-threatening and should always be addressed by your professional dentist in Asheville.

At Saunders DDS, we provide emergency care for our patients so they can avoid the emergency room and get the services they need to permanently resolve the problem. You can always call us with any questions or concerns you may have about a dental emergency, including:

  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Sports injuries
  • Trauma to the face or jaw
  • Severe jaw pain
  • Toothaches
  • Unexplained or severe bleeding or swelling

Should you need to visit our practice for an emergency appointment, we make every effort to accommodate you and provide urgent dental care for both adults and children in the Asheville area.

When You Should Skip Your Appointment

Generally, you shouldn’t skip your regular dental appointment, as it can help prevent issues with your smile and catch any existing conditions early. Regular dental care is a vital part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy in addition to your routine at home!

However, if you’re experiencing any symptoms of the coronavirus or have been in contact with anyone known to have the virus, we ask that you reschedule your appointment with us.

The CDC recommends that people who have symptoms of the virus or have been exposed to anyone with the virus self-quarantine for 14 days. Symptoms could include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficult breathing
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion or runny rose
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea

This list is not exhaustive, and symptoms may vary from person to person. If you believe you or someone you live with is suffering from any kind of illness or has cold-like symptoms, please call us to reschedule your appointment.

Guidelines for Visiting Your Dentist

When you visit your dentist, things will look a little different than they did when you were there prior to COVID-19. By taking a few simple yet important efforts, you can protect yourself, the staff, and other patients. Your dentist will likely require you to:

  • Come to your appointment alone. Refrain from bringing a guest, whether it’s a friend, your partner, or your children. To help reduce everyone’s risk, it’s best if you come to your appointment solo. If you have dental anxiety, please contact your dentist prior to your appointment to discuss your treatment options.
  • Wear a mask. While you’ll need to take your mask off to receive treatment, go ahead and wear your mask when in the office and until directed otherwise by your dentist, dental hygienist, or another staff member. The CDC still recommends wearing a face covering when out in public!
  • Not arrive too early. While arriving early is appreciated in some circumstances, COVID-19 has largely changed that. Your dentist will likely ask that you arrive no more than five minutes early to your scheduled appointment time, and may ask you to wait in your vehicle or outside before letting you in.
  • Answer some questions. Either over the phone or upon arriving at your appointment (or both), staff members may ask you questions about whether or not you’ve been experiencing any symptoms and possibly take your temperature to ensure you’re not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 before letting you in.

Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist what efforts their practice or staff is making to prevent the spread of the virus and protect their patients. While receiving dental care is still essential, you want to be sure that your dentist is taking your health seriously and doing their part to keep their practice clean and their patients safe.

Have Questions? Contact Us!

Saunders DDS remains open for both regular and emergency appointments to support our patients. From pediatric dentistry to adult care, we’re here to serve you and your family in the Asheville area. Have questions or concerns about visiting our practice during the epidemic? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling us at (828) 277-6060!