Now is a great time to bring your child in for their regular dental cleaning to keep their mouths healthy and clean.
For a few months, all dental offices were advised only to see emergencies and cancel what was considered non-essential dentistry. But we’re open again and, with new safety procedure guidelines from the CDC and ADA on top of our already stringent sterilization procedures, it’s the best time for your child to get back on the schedule. In fact, as of the writing of this post, not one case of COVID-19 has been traced to a dental office.
Not only is it safe, but it’s also the perfect time to use any remaining dental insurance before it expires at the end of the year. By scheduling now, your child can have their next regular dental cleaning and still have time to schedule any restorative treatment they may need using their 2020 benefits. Unlike many things this year, the clock didn’t stop ticking on your insurance.
So, what does your child’s dental visit look like in this post-COVID-19 world? Here are a few of the new safety precautions they may encounter:
- A few days before your child’s appointment, we will ask you some prescreening questions to see if anyone in your household has been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19, or if anyone has experienced a fever or flu-like symptoms within the last several days. You may be asked to sign a COVID-19 patient consent form.
- When you arrive, please wait in your car, and call our office. We will ask the same screening questions again just to be sure nothing has changed. We will tell you when it’s ok to come in. Unless absolutely necessary, only scheduled patients will be allowed in the treatment areas. We ask that only one parent or guardian accompany the patient to their appointment, and we urge you to wait in your car during their treatment.
- We ask that everyone entering our office wear a mask/facial covering.
- Upon arrival, we will take your child’s temperature and ask them to use hand sanitizer to prevent cross-contamination.
- You may also notice that we have removed magazines, children’s toys, etc. because they are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- After we sit your child in the treatment chair, we may ask them to rinse with a special disinfecting mouthwash before we start treatment.
- To reduce small airborne particles, called aerosols, we won’t use some of our tools as much as we used to during previous visits.
- After your child’s appointment, a patient care coordinator will contact you to discuss any necessary follow up treatment, schedule future visits, and collect payment.
- Once your child leaves, we will thoroughly disinfect every surface to prepare for the next patient.
You may be tempted to delay your child’s appointment, but postponing a regular exam, cleaning, or minor treatment can potentially turn a small cavity into a large filling or root canal that may result in time out of school and more out-of-pocket expenses.
Even for children, a cleaning is not just a polish and shine. We perform oral screenings and look for lesions on the gums, cheeks, and tongue. We also check their neck, jaw, and lymph nodes for any swelling, lumps, or other abnormalities. If an abnormality is found, we will refer them to a specialist. While very rare in children, these screenings could mean the difference between a small biopsy or surgery. We also check for cavities, abscesses, and to make sure your child’s bite is developing as it should.
These temporary changes may sound and look alarming at first, but they are for the safety of our team as well as our patients. From daily staff temperature screenings, face shields, and other forms of PPE to medical-grade HEPA filters, we have done everything we can to make sure each stage of your visit is clean and safe for all of us, and we can’t wait to see you and your child back in our office!