How COVID-19 is Changing How Dentists Currently See Patients

How COVID-19 is Changing How Dentists Currently See Patients

Posted by Dr. Bo Crofoot Apr 04,2020

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If you’re keeping up with the news, you are becoming more familiar with the ways COVID-19 is impacting the world. From nearly desolate interstates to closed businesses to individuals donning masks and gloves at the grocery stores, this reality is quickly becoming the new normal. It’s also having an impact on your local healthcare providers, including your dentist’s office. With most only seeing emergency patients, read on to find out what your dentist is doing to ensure the safety of anyone who requires immediate care during this time.

How is COVID-19 Impacting Dentist’s Offices?

Based on the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most dental offices throughout the country are closed and not currently seeing patients for regular or elective treatment/procedures. They are only available to see emergency patients at this time. The reason is that COVID-19, which is also known as coronavirus, is a highly infectious disease that causes respiratory illness. Patients with symptoms often have a cough, fever, and shortness of breath.

Although your dentist’s office is one of the most sterile places you will enter, the CDC recommends dental professionals and their staff take extra precautions to ensure the safety of both team members and patients. From pre-screening patients over the phone when scheduling an emergency appointment to seeing only one individual at a time to continuous sterilizing and disinfecting of tools, equipment, and surfaces, this type of virus can be easily transmitted if proper measures are not taken.

If you require immediate attention during this time, don’t be surprised to see your dental team wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent any possible transmission of the virus.

What to Do to Avoid Contracting COVID-19

There are three quick and easy ways to protect yourself and those in your home from contracting the virus:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a full 20 seconds.
  • Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer nearby if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Practice social distancing or simply stay at home if you are not sick. Self-quarantine if you are ill and have tested positive for COVID-19.

When You Should See. Dr. Crofoot or Dr. Snarr

Although they are only seeing patients with serious injuries/infections, you might be wondering what type of dental emergencies warrant making a trip to Cornerstone Dental? Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Extreme tooth pain that is the result of an infection (abscess) inside the tooth. This may require root canal therapy or tooth extraction.
  • A tooth that has been knocked out, as time is of the essence.

Most dental emergencies can be easily treated with at-home remedies and treated by Dr. Crofoot or Dr. Snarr at a later time (i.e. painless chipped tooth, lost crown or filling, soft tissue injury). But no matter the type of problem you are facing, don’t be afraid to call their office for assistance. A team member will be available to evaluate your situation and offer a recommendation as to how you can care for your injury at home or if you should come in right away for appropriate dental care.

About the Author

Dr. Bo Crofoot earned his associate degree at Ricks College before going on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Idaho State University. He then pursued a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at Creighton University. Dr. Thomas Snarr also spent his undergraduate years at Ricks College and Idaho State University before completing his DDS at Creighton Dental School. Because of the recent developments of COVID-19, both Dr. Crofoot and Dr. Snarr are currently only seeing patients experiencing a dental emergency. If you believe you need immediate assistance, contact our office at (208) 356-4240.

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