Guest View: Dental care is safe and essential

The patients calling into our dental offices are understandably nervous. They ask important questions: What will my visit be like during COVID-19? Will I be safe? 

Fortunately, we have been ready for these challenging times for many years.

All across Illinois, dental offices are welcoming patients back for care they put off this spring when coronavirus forced them to shutter to all but emergency treatment. As cases surge again this fall and government officials put in necessary restrictions, our message is clear: Dental care is safe, essential and must continue because it is a valuable part of our individual and collective public health.

In the early 1980s, the emergence of HIV and AIDS forced all health care providers to take extra precautions — especially in dental offices, where potential exposure from the nature of the oral care we provide is highest. Detailed infection prevention strategies were developed, our staffs and dentists went through comprehensive training and education, and we embraced safety standards by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Today, the protective masks, gloves and gowns we have been wearing all this time and the strict attention to cleaning and disinfecting has become commonplace in health care facilities as we all fight this insidious disease.

While our dental offices closed for a few weeks initially, both our industry experts and government officials agree it’s not only misguided to consider seeing the dentist a safety or health care risk as the pandemic continues, it does more harm to skip such care.

via The Southern

December 9, 2020 at 09:58PM

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