Is it safe to go to the dentist? It’s a question on the minds of many people. And, rightfully so! Although the COVID-19 vaccine has brought with it some hope that the virus will diminish, the pandemic is likely far from being over. But, while concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic are real—you may be pleased to hear that dental offices are one of the safest places you can go.
And, it’s Safer Than Many Other Places to Go During the Pandemic
You may be thinking to yourself—how on earth is it safe going to the dentist during COVID-19? After all, it’s respiratory droplets from sneezing, coughing, and talking that spread the virus. Wouldn’t an occupation that involves direct contact with the mouth be a major source of danger? Actually, no. As surprising as it may seem, the American Dental Association (ADA) published findings to prove otherwise.
In early December, the ADA announced study findings that confirmed fewer than 1% of dentists across the U.S. were estimated to have COVID-19 (as of June 2020), with additional information demonstrating that no further transmissions of the virus had been reported since that time (December 1, 2020.)
You may still be wondering: Why is the dentist’s office a safer place to visit than other public places?
Well, from a sheer numbers standpoint—some public venues are not able to police the number of people in a space at any given time. Dental offices—like ours—are able to limit the amount of traffic coming in and out. And, while many public spaces have established social-distancing parameters with designated signage, as we mentioned, it can be difficult to effectively monitor. The same is true of requiring facemasks. Some people may wear a mask, but remove it for a moment, leave their nose exposed, or simply refuse to wear one. And, while there are typically consequences for a refusal to wear a mask—much like violating social distancing—it’s difficult to enforce at all times.
Dental practices, as determined in the previously mentioned ADA study, adhere to the strictest safety guidelines. This means explicitly following the COVID-19 safety protocols of the ADA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and Pennsylvania Department of Health. This includes dentists and dental hygienists wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE).
While our Penn Dental Family Practice dentists and team wish we could keep you safe everywhere you go, what we can do is continue to keep your safety and wellbeing a top priority when you come to see us. To ensure your health and safety, we take the following steps:
In addition to the discussion of dental safety, the ADA has—and continues—to stress the importance of continuing routine dental visits. Regular dental visits are considered essential services. Two key elements of dental care being considered essential—as noted by the ADA— include:
diagnosing, preventing, or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health.
We can also takeaway, that because routine examinations and teeth cleaning provide a positive foundation for oral health (which impacts overall health), that it’s especially important to continue visiting the dentist during a pandemic. The alternative could be declining or unknown oral health problems that result in the need for serious dental work—or worse—a visit to the emergency room (obviously not ideal under the current circumstances.)
At PDFP, we are here for you and your family. We continue to prioritize the safety of all our staff and patients, providing comprehensive, high-quality dental health services and patient-centered care. If you have not established a dental home yet, we encourage you to take advantage of this free resource: “The Evidence You Need To Pick The Right Dentist.” This complimentary comparison chart will help show you how PDFP compares to other local dentists.
schedule a visit now. Or, call us anytime at 215-898-7337 for questions.