After months of being closed to the general public and seeing only emergency patients, dental offices throughout the country are slowly beginning to reopen, and guess what, your dentist in Tulsa is ready to welcome you back. Whether you need a regular checkup and cleaning or require a more complex treatment such as a dental crown placement or a root canal, you may be wondering how different it will be to visit the dentist’s office this time. If you’re expecting it to be “business as usual,” you’ll be surprised by the additional measures being taken to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Before you arrive, spend some time learning what changes you can expect to see before, during, and after your next appointment.
Preparing to Go Back
In the past, calling to schedule an appointment usually consisted of identifying an available time slot, sharing your dental insurance information, and the reason for your visit. Now when you call, the conversation will likely be a bit longer. Because of COVID-19, you can expect your dental team to perform a “pre-screen” by asking a series of questions related to your health. You will need to divulge how you are currently feeling as well as if you have exhibited any symptoms related to COVID-19 in the past several weeks.
Once they have the information needed, and as long as you are healthy, you will be assigned an appointment time. If you have children, you will need to find someone to watch them while you are at your appointment. It’s important that you avoid bringing any additional people with you to your appointment to prevent unnecessary germs and bacteria.
During Your Visit
When you arrive, your dentist will provide one of two scenarios: a virtual waiting room that requires you to remain in your vehicle until your appointment time, or they will make sure their lobby has properly spaced seating and is free of any reading materials.
When entering the dentist’s office, you will also notice additional signage with information related to COVID-19 and necessary safety precautions as well as:
- Tissues, hand sanitizer, and masks for individuals who need them during their visit.
- Front desk staff wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a facial mask. You will also notice dental team members wearing additional items, including a disposable gown, gloves, protective eyewear, and a face shield, if necessary.
Once You Leave
After your appointment, you may not witness the steps your dentist takes to get ready for the next patient, but you can trust that they are taking every precaution to sanitize and disinfect all surfaces that are touched, such as the chair, door handles, dental instruments and equipment, and all other surfaces. By using EPA-approved disinfecting products, this ensures staff and future patients remain healthy and safe.
Although this process might seem a bit more tedious or timely, it is necessary in light of the current situation. Your dentist is taking great strides to maintain a clean environment while attempting to see as many patients as possible. With your help, the process can remain streamlined and successful, and you can continue to receive the high-quality dental care you deserve.
About the Author
Dr. Marc Susman completed his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma before attending the Alabama Implant Congress in Birmingham. With more than 30 years of dentistry experience, he and his team at Smile Remodels & Digital Dentistry go above and beyond to help all patients achieve beautiful, healthy smiles. As dental offices begin to reopen across the country, he is taking every precaution to ensure your next visit is one that makes you feel safe, confident, and secure. If you would like to know more about what you can expect when preparing for your next appointment, visit our website or call (918) 663-9990.