With COVID-19 numbers rising across our state, we have heard several parents question whether it is safe to bring their child in for a dentist appointment. The short answer to this is yes, it is safe. When our state was given stay-at-home orders earlier in the year, we took the time to analyze our protocol and ensure our patients’ safety when we could reopen. Today we will go into more detail about what makes it safe, what you can do to be prepared for your appointment, and why your child needs to be maintaining their dentist appointments throughout the pandemic.
To begin, we have closed our waiting room. Instead of coming inside to wait for your appointment, you will park in a numbered spot and either call or text us when you arrive. Using the same method you choose, we will alert you when we are ready for your appointment, so make sure your phone is charged, and your ringer is on.
We also have mobile check-in for our appointments, so you will be able to fill out your check-in information forms, including a COVID-19 symptom questionnaire from your phone or computer before you enter the building. This ensures that we will not be unnecessarily transferring pen and paper with patients. You will receive your COVID-19 questionnaire by email three days before your appointment. When you follow the link, you will be asked to log in or specify if you are a first-time user. If you have had an appointment with us previously, you will login. If this is your first visit with us, click first-time user, and register a login with us.
When you enter the building, families will be limited to one parent and the children with appointments. Children without appointments, along with extra parents, will not be allowed inside. This is not typical for us, and we do not want to limit the number of family members allowed inside. Still, we ask this to maintain social distancing guidelines.
Inside the office, we have a few extra measures in place to keep everyone safe. There are sanitization stands at our entrance and exit, as well as throughout the office. We also have stripes separated by six feet on the floor to help patients maintain social distancing guidelines. Similarly, our water fountains are not currently available to prevent the spread of germs.
As far as our staff, they are required to wear masks at all times when they are in the office. The only time they take their masks off is when they are sitting down at a table in the break room eating lunch. Also, they go through a screening each day when they enter the office. They take their temperature and fill out a COVID-19 symptom questionnaire.
While we have been asked if it is safe to bring a child to the dentist, we have also been asked about the importance of a dentist appointment during the pandemic. The answer to this question is relatively simple. Your oral health is a vital part of your overall health. Many conditions, such as tooth decay, become more complicated, painful, and expensive when they are not detected and treated quickly. Cavities often develop quickly in children, so it is crucial that you keep your child on their six-month dental checkup schedule.
We know that the pandemic causes anxiety for many in our community. We assure you that we are taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure our patients’ and their families’ safety.