COVID-19 and the Changing Dental Landscape

1: 60% of respondents said they were comfortable visiting a dentist in July for a routine cleaning or check-up, more than double the number in April.

For the patients who have made and kept their appointments for oral care during the pandemic, it has been due to the trust they have put in their dentist. Dentists have not taken lightly the immense responsibility we have to our patients during this current crisis. And we accept this responsibility. Dentists have put in place exhaustive new safety procedures, including increased personal protective equipment for staff and thorough sanitizing of evaluation rooms for patients, to ensure a safe environment that minimizes the risk for everyone.

2: 64% of respondents believe their dentist knows how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Dentists are health-care experts trained in infectious disease control. In my dental office, we have added high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter air purifiers with UV protection to minimize the risk of transmission. These steps, along with thorough prescreening, have helped us build trust and keep our patients and team members as safe as possible.

3: 65% of respondents plan to schedule and visit a dentist within the next six months.

Patients feel more at ease returning to the dentist when they know the practice was following CDC guidelines and completing prescreening for COVID-19. In order to make sure patients are comfortable resuming regular dental care, we make sure they understand the advanced measures we are taking to keep them safe. Of course, patients who are older and/or have preexisting conditions are more wary of returning.

We need to remind patients that oral care is essential health care. Evidence has proven that poor oral health can lead to other systemic health problems and a lesser quality of life. Preventive care is extremely important in helping to avoid oral infections and diseases. Our profession wants to keep you in excellent dental health and in a completely safe environment.