Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we’ve learned that social distancing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the virus from spreading (especially since it can be transmitted before people show symptoms). But what about when you or a family member need to see a dentist? You’ll be glad to know that social distancing can still be used to minimize your contact with others while you get the treatment you need to maintain your smile. Keep reading below to learn more!
Social Distancing Basics
Social distancing could be defined as simply putting space between yourself and other people when outside of your house and includes:
- Not being in groups
- Being at least 6 feet away from other people (or about two arms’ length)
- Staying away from crowded places
How Can Dentists Use Social Distancing?
Clearly, you’ll need to be relatively close to either a dentist, hygienist or dental assistant during your visit. But that doesn’t mean social distancing can’t be used to keep contact to a minimum in the dental office. Here are some of the ways a family dentist can incorporate social distancing in their COVID-19 safety protocols:
- Virtual waiting rooms – This involves patients waiting in their cars (instead of a waiting room) for their appointment to start. When they arrive, they just call or text the front office staff to let them know. When it’s time to come in, they’ll receive another call or text.
- Spaced-out scheduling – Prior to COVID-19, dental offices were busy and bustling places. Now, a much smaller number of patients are being seen at one time in any given office.
- Fewer patients in the office at a time – You may be asked that no one accompany you to your appointment (with the exceptions of parents or guardians for children or dependents), or that they wait in the car while you’re being treated.
What Else Are Dental Offices Doing To Keep You Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
In addition to even more stringent sanitation practices, many dentists are also requiring all patients to wash their hands or use sanitizer when they come in, taking their temperature, and requesting them to use a face mask or cloth face-covering until they’re seated and ready for treatment.
Everyone needs dental care for good oral health and overall well-being, and that hasn’t changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. When you combine these protocols with social distancing, you and your family can see a dentist without worry!
About the Author
As a dentist with a commitment to health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Sheri McIntosh has put social distancing practices into place as well as additional infection control protocols. With a lot of thought and effort, her goal is to help all her patients get the care they need for a healthy smile while still keeping them and their families safe. If you’d like to know more about social distancing in dental offices or have any questions, she can be reached via her website.