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What do you do if you have a loose filling, broken crown, or toothache? Just like the need to go to a doctor if you are sick, a trip to the dentist sometimes can’t be put off. With the fear of spreading COVID-19 on everyone’s minds, dentists have limited their visits to patients with emergency needs like these.
After equipping their offices and staff with new precautions outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA), many dentists are resuming regular dental visits for preventive care.
The main way COVID-19 is spread is through respiratory droplets that fly through the air when someone coughs or sneezes, say the health experts at the CDC. Even if you don’t cough or sneeze, the mucus and saliva in your mouth and throat can contain the virus. Those are the fluids your dentist and their tools come in contact with every time they treat someone.
The ADA and CDC worked together to come up with safety measures that dental offices should take before reopening. If you want to make sure your dentist is prepared, ask what safety precautions the office staff is taking before you schedule a visit.
Some things you may notice:
You may also find that you are asked to take extra precautions before and during your visit:
Just like other health care, dental treatment and preventive care keeps people healthy and can ward off serious health problems, says ADA President Chad P. Gehani. Because dental practices have spent time and resources to make sure they can see patients while minimizing risks to patients and staff, he says, normal care like cleanings and checkups can resume.
Regular preventive dental care is part of staying healthy. Making an appointment now for your cleaning and exam could help you avoid major care in the future.
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