Illinois Dentists Maintaining Safe PracticesOct 30, 2020 ● By Bernice Teplitsky, DDS, PC
Photo by Parilov for adobe stock
All licensed dental offices must follow new guidelines set by the Illinois Department of Public Health, American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Society, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With these combined guidelines, patients can be certain that offices have created effective protocols to minimize the spread of coronavirus.
Aside from clinicians upgrading their protective gear to now include N95 masks, there are also no-touch dispensers for hand sanitizer and hand soap, as well as air purifiers located throughout. Dental offices are now also disinfecting and replacing barriers on surfaces more often than before and using tools like rubber dams and hands-free, high-volume evacuation suction devices to decrease the oral cavity of aerosols, splatter fluid and debris.
These precautions, along with temperature checks and pre-appointment questionnaires/interviews, are proving to be extremely effective in keeping both dental team members and patients safe.
With many studies linking periodontal disease to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and the exacerbation of inflammatory diseases, people should not avoid going to the dentist during this trying time of COVID-19 quarantines. Because decay will only grow, not shrink, dentists report an increase in the number of patients requiring root canals due to decay rapidly making its way down to the pulp of the tooth if untreated.